Storied Strings
The Guitar in American Art

ClientVirginia Museum of Fine Arts
DatePublished October 2022
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Leo G. Mazow

Published by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art is the first exhibition to explore the instrument’s symbolism in American art from the early 19th century to the present day. Featuring 125 works of art, as well as 35 musical instruments, the exhibition demonstrates that guitars figure prominently in the visual stories Americans tell themselves about themselves—their histories, identities, and aspirations. The guitar—portable, affordable, and ubiquitous—appears in American art more than any other instrument, and this exhibition catalog explores those depictions as well as the human ambitions, intentions, and connections facilitated by the instrument—a powerful tool and elastic emblem.