The Craft in America Center is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition, MUSIC: Handmade Instruments from the Episode, on view from October 10 – November 28, 2015. This exhibition accompanies Craft in America’s newest episode, MUSIC, featuring handmade musical instruments and the world-renowned artists who play those remarkable creations. Speaking to the core identity of the United States, these instruments belong to diverse cultures that come together in a unique national tradition. Handmade Instruments is an invitation to get up close and personal with a selection of America’s greatest instruments, and learn about how they are delicately crafted by the human hand.
The Center’s exhibition showcases the handwork of craftsmen who make the distinctive sounds of America possible. The Kamaka family has been creating ukuleles for generations, and their signature Pineapple Ukulele embodies the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands. The Martin Guitar Company takes pride in an almost two hundred year history of making the finest guitars in America. Dave Monette is famous for his exceptional trumpets, a combination of high-tech computer design and fabrication mixed with old world craftsmanship. From the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Stelling Banjo makes the instruments that “evoke the sound of America,” “a sound that says this is who we are,” according to musician Tony Ellis. Minstrel banjo maker Jim Hartel reveals another side of this distinctive instrument, pursuing a tradition rooted in American slave instruments brought from West Africa. Jason Ginter makes mallets for the Los Angeles Philharmonic timpani, destined to resound throughout the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA.
This exhibition offers a cross-section of American culture that highlights the craftsmanship that has given voice to our national music traditions.