Eiteljorg Museum launches rock guitars exhibition

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Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and George Harrison all made a huge impact on the rock and roll world.

Starting Saturday at the Eiteljorg Museum, only a glass display case will separate visitors from the guitars that once belonged to these music icons.

The exhibit, Guitars: Roundups to Rockers, showcases more than 100 rare and historic instruments that will never be seen together again.

"This exhibit is sort of a sound track for America, but it's really about guitars and the American west and it relates to almost everybody who comes in and the music that's been a part of their lives," said James Nottage, Vice President and Chief Curatorial Officer, Eiteljorg Museum.

Ten guitars featured in the show come from the private collection of Colts Owner Jim Irsay - including Grateful Dead lead Jerry Garcia's guitar nicknamed "Tiger."

The exhibit, which runs until August 4th, also includes guitar-playing lessons, live performances and your chance to play Guitar Hero on the big screen.

Learn more about the exhibition.

From the Eiteljorg:

  • The guitars in this exhibit have never been displayed together before and likely never will be again. Normally, one would have to travel the world and gain entry to some of the best museums and private collectors' homes to have this experience. Guitars! is a one-time-only chance to see these phenomenal instruments in one place.
  • Guitars! isn't simply about instruments, but also artists, including Patsy Montana, Jerry Garcia, Metallica, The Decemberists, Stephen Stills, Sleater-Kinney, Barney Kessel, Keith Richards and Gene Autry—a veritable who's who of 20th and 21st century music.
  • The exhibit features rare guitars, including the oldest known Fender (1942), a New York Martin (1837), and a brilliant Gibson Lloyd Loar Quartet (There are only a few of these sets in existence.).
  • Guitars! includes several guitars from the renowned collection of Jim Irsay, owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts. Irsay provides three guitars tied to legendary performers George Harrison, Stephen Stills and Jerry Garcia. His collection also comprises a mix of electric and acoustic guitars spanning over 100 years of guitar-making.
  • See "The Flying V"-- the actual axe used to create the tunes in the game Guitar Hero, plus a plethora of unconventional instruments