MoMI - Museum of Musical Instruments

The Dreadnought is the ultimate acoustic guitar--a large-bodied instrument created in the 1930s for the growing popularity of bluegrass, country, folk, blues and jazz. In the years before WWII five manufacturers dominated the development of the Dreadnought: Martin, Gibson, Larson, Washburn and Regal. Each of these manufacturers diverged from the other in their style and design of the Dreadnought by creating archetypical variations of the model--examples that later would become standardized, distributed and played throughout the world.

Rebels and Rolling StonesRebels and Rolling Stones
The following collection includes guitars from several romantic pioneers and radical trendsetters who influenced cultural and musical revolutions. Breaking the constraints of traditional European art, culture, and society, rebels such as Mark Twain, Mick Jagger, Frank Sinatra, and Woody Guthrie helped define the spirit of the modern age. These revolutionaries often expressed their thought-provoking sentiments accompanied by the sounds of the guitar.

From Ragtime to RichesFrom Ragtime to Riches
The songs that Scott Joplin wrote in the late 1890s and early 1900s helped define a new style of music known as ragtime. The music's syncopated rhythms reflected the bustling lifestyles in America's industrialized cities as the country entered the modern urban age. Guitar production progressed from small shops to large factories where American guitar craftsmen developed ornate instruments with fabulous curvilinear designs.

Getting Hip in the Roaring 20sGetting Hip in the Roaring 20s

Temperance, decadence, and fashion collided in the Roaring '20s. During this time, the guitar surpassed the banjo and mandolin in popularity to emerge as the favored icon of "hip." This special collection represents a decade that encompassed everything from Prohibition to the growth of the blues and jazz.

Roots of Music in the Jazz EraRoots of Music in the Jazz Era

By the 1930s the flapper fad began to fade only to be replaced by the onset of hard times during the Depression. However, the decade would become one of the 20th century's richest in terms of American art and culture.

Spanish Seranaders
Spanish Seranaders

Marvelous flamenco- and classical-style guitars made by the greatest Spanish luthiers of the 20th century.

Golden Age of the Acoustic Guitar: 1930-1965Golden Age of the Acoustic Guitar: 1930-1965
From the 1930s onward, the guitar evolved from a small parlor curiosity for genteel souls to a powerful talisman that became the voice of the Woodstock generation, transforming into a transcendental medium through which many musical styles flourished. By tracing the guitar's development through its Golden Age (1930-1965) in context with movements in industrial design and art, one can see how the entirely new genres of music that developed simultaneously defined the spirit of individuality and greatness that blossomed during the 20th century.

Singing Cowboys on the Radio and Silver ScreenSinging Cowboys on the Radio and Silver Screen
During the singing cowboy era, Gene Autry, Ray Corrigan, Roy Rogers, Ray Whitley, Tex Ritter, and Jimmy Wakely helped promote big-body flat-top guitars featuring distinctive Western-inspired styling.