Dangerous Curves -- The Art of the Guitar
Dangerous Curves: The Art of the Guitar
Text by Darcy Kuronen
Photographs by Carl Tremblay and others
Guitar
Attributed to Jakob Ertel
Italy (Rome), about 1690
Ebony, spruce, fruitwood, ivory, bone
35 x 9 3/8 x 3 7/8 in.
The Metropolian Museum of Art;
Purchase, Rogers Fund, Mrs. Peter Nicholas, University of Chicago Club of New York, Mrs. Henry J. Heinz II and Lowell S. Smith and Sally Sanford Gifts, The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, by exchange, and funds
From various donors 1984
Guitar
Attributed to Belchior Dias
Portugal (Lisbon), about 1590
Rosewood, spruce, ebony, ivory
37 x 10 x 3 5/8 in.
Collection of Frank and Leanne Koonce
Guitar
Antoine Aubry (active 1778-1784)
France (Mirecourt), 1779
Maple, spruce, ebony, applewood, ivory, Tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl
35 x 10 3/8 x 4 1/8 in.
America's Shrine to Music Museum,
The University of South Dakota, Vermillion
(No. 5581, Rawlins Fund, 1993)
Guitar
Louis Panormo (1784-1862)
England (London), 1823
Maple, spruce, cedar, pearwood
37 x 11 3 3/8 in.
Collection of Frank and Leanne Koonce
Guitar
Christian Frederick Martin (1796-1873)
United States (New York, New York), 1833-1840
Rosewood, spruce, ivory, mother-of-pearl, Abalone
37 x 11 x 3 3/8 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection
Lyre Guitar (Apollo lyre)
Clementi and Company
England (London), about 1810
Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory
34 3/8 x 14 3/8 x 4 1/8 in.
Philio Wigglesworth Cushing and Henry Cowell Cololidge Wigglesworth, from the Collection of their parents, Frank and Anne Wigglesworth
Harp-Guitar
Joseph Laurent Mast (active 1802-1830)
France (Toulouse), 1827
Maple, spruce, ebony
45 x 13 x 5 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection
Classical Guitar
Francisco Simplicio (1874-1932/3)
Spain (Barcelona), about 1929-30
Stainwood, spruce, cedar, ebony
39 x 14 x 4 in.
Courtesy of R.E. Brune, luthier
Flamenco Guitar
Santos Hernandez (1874-1943)
Spain (Madrid), 1934
Cypress, spruce, cedar, ebony
39 x 14 x 3 in.
Courtesy of R.E. Brune, luthier
Arch-top Guitar
Orville H. Gibson (1856-1918)
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), About 1900
Walnut, spruce
40 x 15 x 2 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection
Flat-top Guitar
Probably by Lyon and Healy (Washburn Brand)
United States (Chicago, Illinois), About 1900
Rosewood, spruce, mother-of-pearl, Abalone, ivory
37 5/8 x 14 x 4 3/8 in.
The Roy Acuff Collection, Gaylord Entertainment, Nashville, Tennessee
Flat-top Guitar (SJ-200 model)
Gibson, Inc. United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1938
Rosewood, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic 42 1/8 x 17 x 4 7/8 in.
Mac Yasuda
Flat-top Guitar (D-45 model)
C.F. Martin and Company
United States (Nazereth, Pennsylvania), 1938
Rosewood, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Abalone, plastic
40 x 15 x 4 7/8 in.
Mac Yasuda
Cowboy Guitar ("Singing Cowboys" Model)
Harmony Company
United States (Chicago, Illinois), 1942
Birch
36 3/8 x 13 x 4 in.
Brian Fischer
Arch-top Guitar (Super 400 Model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1934
Maple, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
44 x 18 x 3 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection
Arch-top Guitar (Synchromatic 300 model)
The Fred Gretsch Company, Inc.
United States, (Brooklyn, New York), About c. 1939
Maple, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
43 1/3 x 17 x 3 3/8 in.
Scot Michael Arch
Arch-top Guitar (New Yorker Model)
John D'Angelico (1905-1964)
United States (New York, New York), 1954
Maple, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
43 3/8 x 18 x 3 in.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;
John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, and Harriet Otis Cruft Fund 1998.62
Hawaiian Steel Guitar (style 4)
Hermann C. Weissenborn (1863-1937)
United States (Los Angeles, California), mid-1920s
Koa wood
37 3/8 x 15 3/8 x 2 7/8 in.
Tim Scheerhorn
Arch-top Guitar (Orchestre Model)
Designed by Mario Macceferri for Selmer & Cie
France (Paris), 1932
Rosewood, spruce, ebony
38 x 15 x 3 7/8 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection
Resonator Guitar (Tri-Cone Model)
National String Instrument Corporation
United States (Los Angeles, California), 1934
Nickel alloy plated with nickel silver, Ebony, plastic
38 5/8 x 14 3/8 x 3 3/8 in.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;
Helen B. Sweeney Fund 1998.193
Lap steel Guitar (Dynamic model)
Valco (National Brand)
United States (Chicago, Illinois), 1952
Wood, plastic
32 x 6 x 1 in.
Walter Carter
Electric Guitar (Telecaster Model)
Fender Electric Instrument Company
United States (Fullerton, California), 1957
Ash, maple
38 3/8 x 12 5/8 x 1 in.
Brian Fischer
Electric Guitar (Les Paul model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1952
Mahogany, maple, rosewood, mother-of- Pearl, plastic
39 5/8 x 13 x 2 in.
Brian Fischer
Electric Guitar (Flying V model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States, (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1958
Limba wood, rosewood
43 3/8 x 16 x 1 in.
Brian Fischer
Electric Guitar (White Falcon 6136 model)
The Fred Gretsch Company, Inc.
United States (Brooklyn, New York), 1956
Maple, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
42 3/8 x 16 7/8 x 2 7/8 in.
Mac Yasuda
Double-neck Electric Guitar (EDS-1275 model)
Gibson, Inc. United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1960
Maple, spruce, rosewood, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
44 x 17 x 1 7/8 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection
Electric Guitar
(Les Paul/ SG Standard model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States, (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1961
Mahogany, rosewood, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
39 3/8 x 13 x 2 7/8 in.
Brian Fischer
Electric Guitar (360-12 model)
Electro String Instrument Corporation
(Rickenbacker brand)
United States (Los Angeles, California), 1966
Maple, padauk, plastic
39 7/8 x 14 7/8 x 1 in.
Brian Fischer
Electric Guitar (3012 model)
Danelectro Corporation
United States (Neptune City, New Jersey), About 1960
Hardboard, pine, rosewood
38 x 13 x 1 5/8 in.
Brian Fischer
Electric Guitar (Telecaster Pink Paisley model)
Fender Musical Instruments
United States (Fullerton, California), 1969
Ash, maple, printed paper
38 3/8 x 12 5/8 x 1 in.
Collection of the Fender Museum of Music and the Arts
Electric guitar (331 model)
Electro String Instrument Company
(Rickenbacker brand)
United States (Los Angeles, California), 1971
Maple, mahogany, plastic
39 3/8 x 14 7/8 x 2 in.
Brian Fischer
Electric Guitar (M5-700 MoonSault model)
Kawai Company
Japan, 1982
Mahogany, rosewood mother-of-pearl
42 x 12 x 1 5/8 in.
Michael Wright, The Different Strummer
Guitar (Pikasso model)
Linda Manzer (born 1952)
Canada, (Toronto, Ontaria), 1993
Rosewood, mahogany, spruce, ebony, Abalone
47 x 18 3/8 x 4 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection
John Lennon's First Guitar
Flat-top guitar (Champion model)
Gallo Industries
The Netherlands, mid-1950s
Jimi Hendrix's Psychedelic Flying V model
Gibson, Inc.
USA (1967)
Electric guitar (Les Paul model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan),
Possibly late 1950s
Mahogany, ebony, mother-of-pearl, plastic
39 x 13 x 2 in.
Les Paul
Flat-top guitar (0-42)
C.F. Martin and Company
United States (Nazereth, Pennsylvania), 1927
Rosewood, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
38 3/8 x 13 x 4 in.
Courtesy of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Los Angeles.
Donated by Mr. And Mrs. Gene Autry
Electric guitar (6120 model)
The Fred Gretsch Company, Inc.
United States (Brooklyn, New York), 1955
Maple, rosewood, mother-of-pearl, plastic
41 3/8 x 15 5/8 x 2 7/8 in.
Chet Atkins
Electric arch-top guitar (ES-150 model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1936
Maple, spruce, mahogany, rosewood, Plastic
40 x 16 x 3 5/8 in.
J. Geils
Electric guitar (GL2T model)
Steinberger Sound Company
United States (Newburgh, New York), 1986
Carbon graphite
30 1/8 x 7 x 1 7/8 in.
Reeves Gabrels
Electric guitar (Les Paul Custom model) Gibson Guitar Corp. (Custom Division)
United States (Nashville, Tennessee), 1995
Mahogany, ebony, cocobolo, mother-of- Pearl, abalone, plastic
38 7/8 x 13 x 2 in.
Kix Brooks
Electric guitar (five-neck Custom model)
Hamer Guitars, Inc. United States
(Arlington Heights, Illinois), 1981
Mahogany, rosewood
37 7/8 x 29 7/8 x 1 7/8 in.
Rick Nielsen
Electric guitar (Yellow Cloud Model)
David Rusan and Barry Haugen of
Knut- Koupee Enterprises, Inc.
United States (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 1989
Maple 39 x 11 x 2 in.
National Museum of American History,
Smithsonian Institution
Lap Steel guitar
Semie Moseley (1935-1992)
United States (Jonas Ridge, North Carolina), 1984
Aluminum, rubber
47 x 8 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.
America's Shrine to Music Museum,
The University of South Dakota,
Vermillion (No. 6190, Board of Trustees, 1998)
Electric guitar (Strawberry 6 Custom model)
Mosrite Company
United States (Bakersfield, California), 1967
Maple, rosewood
38 x 9 x 1 3/8 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection
Guitar
Nicholas Alexandre Voboam II
(after 1633-about 1693)
France (Paris), 1680
Ebony, cypress, spruce, ivory
36 x 9 7/8 x 3 in.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;
Otis Norcross Fund, Gift of Mr. and
Mrs. Richard M. Fraser, and Bequest of
Gertrude T. Taft, by exchange 1993.576

Guitar
Attributed to Jakob Ertel
Italy (Rome), about 1690
Ebony, spruce, fruitwood, ivory, bone
35 x 9 3/8 x 3 7/8 in.
The Metropolian Museum of Art;
Purchase, Rogers Fund, Mrs. Peter
Nicholas, University of Chicago Club of
New York, Mrs. Henry J. Heinz II and
Lowell S. Smith and Sally Sanford Gifts,
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical
Instruments, by exchange, and funds
From various donors 1984

Guitar
Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737)
Italy (Cremona), 1700
Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory
36 1/8 x 10 x 3 in.
America's Shrine to Music Museum, The
University of South Dakota, Vermillion
(No. 2976, Rawlins Fund, 1985)

Guitar
Jose Pages (born 1762)
Spain (Cadiz), 1813
Rosewood, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Ivory
39 x 11 3/8 x 4 3/8 in.
Edinburgh University Collection of
Historic Musical Instruments

Harpo-lyre
Andre Augustin Chevrier
(active 1820-1842)
France (Paris), about 1830
Walnut, spruce, ebony, ivory
40 5/8 x 20 7/8 x 4 1/8 in.
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Purchase,
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Cassilly Gift 1992

Guitar
Johann Georg Stauffer (1778-1853)
Austria (Vienna), about 1830
Maple, spruce
37 7/8 x 11 x 3 1/8 in.
Dennis Cinelli

Harp Guitar
Emilius Nicolai Scherr
(1794-1874)
United States (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 1830s
Rosewood, spruce
59 7/8 x 13 x 3 3/8 in.
Smith College

Guitar
Probably by Antoine Anciaume
(born 1776)
France (Mirecourt), about 1840
Amboyna wood, spruce, mother-of-pearl, Abalone
36 x 11 x 3 in.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum
Purchase with funds donated anonymously
Through the Joseph Bishop Van Sciver
Fund (1861-1942) of the Boston
Foundation 1999.520

Flamenco Guitar
Antonio de Torres (1817-1892)
Spain (Seville), about 1858
Cypress, spruce, cedar, rosewood
38 x 12 x 3 in.
Courtesy of R.E. Brune, luthier

Flat-top Guitar
Probably by Lyon and Healy (Washburn Brand)
United States (Chicago, Illinois), About 1900
Rosewood, spruce, mother-of-pearl, Abalone, ivory
37 5/8 x 14 x 4 3/8 in.
The Roy Acuff Collection, Gaylord
Entertainment, Nashville, Tennessee

Guitar-lyre
Luigi Mozzani (1869-1943)
Italy (Cento), about 1910
Walnut, spruce, maple, ebony
38 x 18 5/8 x 3 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection

Arch-top Guitar (Style O Artist)
Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), About 1918
Birch, spruce, ebony, plastic
38 x 16 1/8 x 3 3/8 in.
Fred Oster, Vintage Instruments,
Lansing, Michigan

Harp Guitar (Style U)
Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1920
Birch, spruce, mahogany, ebony, plastic
45 x 18 x 3 in.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum
Purchase with funds donated anonymously 2000.552

Harp Guitar (Symphony model, Style 8)
Made by Larson Brothers for distribution
By W.H. Dyer & Brother
United States (Chicago, Illinois), About 1920
Mahogany, spruce, ebony, mother-of- Pearl, ivory
41 x 15 x 4 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection

Harp Guitar
Harmony Company
United States (Chicago, Illinois),
About 1920s Mahogany, spruce, ebony, mother-of- Pearl, plastic
50 x 15 x 5 1/8 in.
Alex Usher

Bell shaped guitar (5270 model)
Lyon & Healy (Washburn brand)
United States (Chicago, Illinois), about 1925-29
Mahogany, spruce, rosewood
36 5/8 x 15 5/8 x 3 in.
Stan Werbin, Elderly Instruments, Lansing, Michigan

Flat-top guitar (SJ-200 model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1938
Rosewood, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
42 1/8 x 17 x 4 7/8 in.
Mac Yasuda

Flat-top guitar (D-45 model)
C.F. Martin and Company
United States (Nazereth, Pennsylvania), 1938
Rosewood, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Abalone, plastic
40 x 15 x 4 7/8 in.
Mac Yasuda

Arch-top guitar (Synchromatic 300 model)
The Fred Gretsch Company, Inc.
United States, (Brooklyn, New York), About c. 1939
Maple, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
43 x 17 x 3 3/8 in.
Scot Michael Arch

Lap steel guitar
(Dynamic model)
Valco (National Brand)
United States (Chicago, Illinois), 1952
Wood, plastic
32 x 6 x 1 in.
Walter Carter
Electric Guitar (Les Paul model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1952
Mahogany, maple, rosewood, mother-of- Pearl, plastic
39 5/8 x 13 x 2 in.
Brian Fischer

Arch-top guitar (New Yorker Model)
John D'Angelico (1905-1964)
United States (New York, New York), 1954
Maple, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
43 3/8 x 18 x 3 in.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, and Harriet Otis Cruft Fund 1998.62

Electric Guitar (Roundup 6130 model)
The Fred Gretsch Company, Inc.
United States (Brooklyn, New York), 1955
Mahogany, pine, rosewood, mother-of- Pearl, plastic, leather
39 x 13 3/8 x 1 7/8 in.
Scot Michael Arch

*John Lennon's First Guitar
(Flat-top guitar)
Champion model
Gallo Industries (Mid 1950s)

Electric guitar (Flying V model)
Gibson, Inc.
United States, (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1958
Limba wood, rosewood
43 3/8 x 16 x 1 in.
Brian Fischer

Guitar (Romancer model)
Mastro Industries
Designed by Mario Maccaferri
(1900-1993)
United States (New York, New York), About 1960
Plastic
34 3/8 x 12 x 3 in.
Brian Fischer

Electric Guitar (Bianka model)
Hoyer Guitars
Germany, (Tennenlohe), 1961
Maple, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
42 x 17 7/8 x 3 in.
Courtesy of the Chinery Collection

Electric Guitar
(Les Paul/ SG Standard model)

Gibson, Inc.
United States, (Kalamazoo, Michigan), 1961
Mahogany, rosewood, mother-of-pearl, Plastic
39 3/8 x 13 x 2 7/8 in.
Brian Fischer

Electric Guitar (7000 4V model)
Oliviero Pigini and Company (EKO brand)
Italy (Recanati), early 1960s
Plastic, rosewood
40 x 13 5/8 x 1 3/8 in.
Brian Fischer

Pair of Electric Guitars
(Stratocaster model)
Fender Electric Instrument Company
United States (Fullerton, California), 1963 and 1964
Ash, maple, rosewood
37 7/8 x 12 x 1 5/8 in.
Brian Fischer

Electric Guitar (Glenwood 99 model)
Valco (National Brand)
United States (Chicago, Illinois), 1963-64
Plastic, rosewood, mother-of-pearl
39 3/8 x 14 5/8 x 1 7/8 in.
Stan Werbin, Elderly Instruments, Lansing, Michigan

Electric Guitar (Karak model)
Wandre Pioli (born 1926)
Italy (Cavriago), about 1965
Plastic, wood, aluminum, rosewood
42 3/8 x 16 5/8 x 1 in.
Michael Wright, The Different Strummer

Jimi Hendrix's Psychedelic Flying V model
Gibson, Inc.
USA (1967)

*Electric Guitar (2x4 model)
La Baye Company
USA (1967)

Electric Guitar (Telecaster Pink Paisley model)
Fender Musical Instruments
United States (Fullerton, California), 1969 Ash, maple, printed paper
38 3/8 x 12 5/8 x 1 in.
Collection of the Fender Museum of Music and the Arts

Electric guitar (331 model)
Electro String Instrument Company
(Rickenbacker brand)
United States (Los Angeles, California), 1971
Maple, mahogany, plastic
39 3/8 x 14 7/8 x 2 in.
Brian Fischer

Electric Guitar (M5-700 MoonSault model)
Kawai Company
Japan, 1982
Mahogany, rosewood mother-of-pearl
42 x 12 x 1 5/8 in.
Michael Wright, The Different Strummer

Electric Guitar (Pro II U series Urchin Deluxe model)
Arai Company (Aria Trademark)
Japan, 1984
Ash, maple, rosewood
40 x 15 x 1 in.
Michael Wright, The Different Strummer

*Electric Guitar (Electraglide model)
Andrew Bond, Scotland, (1985)

Prototype Guitar (Opus 103)
William "Grit" Laskin (born 1953)
Canada (Toronto, Ontario), 1989
Rosewood, maple, spruce, ebony
40 x 14 5/8 x 6 in.
Canadian Museum of Civilization

Coat-hanger electric guitar
Ken Butler (born 1948)
United States (Brooklyn, New York), 1991
Coat hangers, crutches, rulers, paper clips,
Bobby pins, guitar parts
44 x 14 x 3 in.
Ken Butler

Travel Guitar
Customized Backpacker model
Made by Robert McNally
For the Martin Guitar Company
USA (1994)

Electric Guitar (Dragon 2000 model)
PRS Guitars
United States (Stevensville, Maryland), 1999
Maple, metal, shell, precious stone
37 5/8 x 13 x 1 in.
PRS Guitars
Electric Guitar (Fly Artist Model)
Parker Guitars
United States (Wilmington, Massachusetts), 1999
spruce, carbon and glass fiber
38 x 12 5/8 x 1 5/8 in.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Gift of Parker Guitars 1999.739