Dangerous Curves -- The Art of the Guitar

he Museum of Musical Instruments (TheMoMI.org) is proud to present a virtual exhibition of Dangerous Curves: Art of the Guitar, previously on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) from November 5, 2000 through February 25, 2001. Dangerous Curves provides an in-depth look at the visual design and evolution of the guitar from Baroque to Modern. Featuring 129 instruments from museums and private collections around the world (Dangerous Curves Credits), Dangerous Curves examines four centuries of innovation and breaks new ground by celebrating the guitar as an objet d'art, addressing why this icon of popular culture has undergone far greater changes than any other musical instrument. Organized chronologically, the exhibition begins with early Baroque instruments, traces the development of the guitar through turn of the 20th century advancements, explores how the invention of the electric guitar changed the medium, and concludes with present day instruments that continue to incorporated ultra-modern design aspects.

   MFA Curator Darcy Kuronen states, "From courtly musicians serenading sixteenth-century royalty to rock bands blasting megawatts in packed stadiums, the guitar has been an enduring musical icon for over four centuries. To a far greater degree than any other instrument, it has been interpreted with extraordinary variety of form and decoration, always reflecting the aesthetics of the time. This is as true for ornate guitars of the Baroque era, inlaid with ivory and pearl, as it is for twentieth-century electric instruments painted in blue metallic flake. Dangerous Curves: Art of the Guitar celebrates this diversity, displaying how changes in fashion, technology, and musical tastes have influenced the look of the world's most popular instrument."