Traveling guitar exhibit to visit Kalamazoo museum

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Michigan residents will soon be able to rock out with the National Guitar Museum as its traveling exhibit visits the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

“GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World” opens Saturday in the downtown museum, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported. The exhibit is broken into three parts: the science of sound; the evolution, engineering and design of the guitar; and the instrument’s cultural impact.

The exhibit, which runs through Jan. 7 will feature over 70 guitars as well as interactive displays. It’ll house the world’s largest playable guitar, as certified by the Guinness World Records.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum Director Bill McElhone said the city has a special passion for music, particularly the guitar, because of its history as the birthplace of Gibson guitars.

“It just made sense for us to do an exhibit that talks about not only the history of the guitar, but because we are a museum of science and history, this exhibit also explores the science of sound, vibration and how sound is produced,” McElhone said.

HP Newquist, founder and executive director of the National Guitar Museum, spoke of the importance of the guitar both in Kalamazoo and the rest of the world throughout history.

“The guitar is the most popular instrument in the world,” Newquist said. “There are more guitars sold than all other instruments combined. The guitar dwarfs them in terms of sheer numbers.”

The National Guitar Museum’s exhibit began touring in 2011. The attraction has traveled to cities across the country.