Stepped Strings: The Guitar in American Art

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Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art – Bluegrass Today



























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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond has opened a new gallery titled Stepped Strings: The Guitar in American Art. The exhibition includes 125 works of art and 35 musical instruments from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day.

Art includes paintings, sculptures, and photographs where the subject is playing the guitar. Artists whose work is on display include Thomas Hart Benton, Otto Hagel, Charles White, Thomas Cantwell Healy and many more.

The VFMA says this is the first organized exhibition that focuses on the guitar in this way, and they have produced a 300-page catalog detailing all the parts and the history of the guitar in life and culture. Americans.

The works in the exhibition are divided into nine sections:

  • Aestheticize a pattern
  • cold cash
  • Hispanization
  • board games
  • Personification
  • Imaging performance
  • political guitars
  • The Guitar in Black Art and Culture
  • Regenerated instruments.

Smaller spaces organized by theme are also available, including:

  • The Blues
  • Women in Early Country Music
  • The visual culture of early rock and roll
  • Hawaii-ana
  • cowboy guitars

stepped strings will be on display at the VFMA until March 19, 2023. Admission to the Museum is free.

After its run in Richmond, the exhibit will travel to Nashville for a run starting May 26 at the Frist Art Museum.

This short video highlights some of the art and music from the exhibit.


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