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POP+ Unites

GUITARS

Oh, wouldn't it be a most wonderous thing

To have a guitar that could play and could sing

By itself--what an absolute joy it would be

To have a guitar . . . that didn't need me.

- Shel Silverstein

Day 1 - ORIGIN STORY

Beginners 101

HISTORY

History of the Guitar: Acoustic to Electric, Ancient to Modern

Music is a vital part of our cultural expression, and perhaps no musical instrument has shaped the development of music through modern history as much as the guitar. 

HISTORY

Timeline of Musical Styles & Guitar History

To understand the stringed instruments of any age, it helps to know something of the historical context that led to their development.

HISTORY

The Guitar, Likely Originated in Spain in the 16th Century

 The early guitar was narrower and deeper than the modern guitar, with a less pronounced waist. It was closely related to the vihuela, the guitar-shaped instrument played in Spain in place of the lute.

HISTORY

20 Great Classical Guitarists

For the past 400 years, the guitar has probably been the most popular and accessible of all instruments. Here we showcase 20 of the instrument’s greatest classical exponents.

HISTORY

Top 10 Guitar Composers

In this week’s tonebase Blog, Rosie Bennet breaks down the traditional “top 10” guitar composers and discusses why these individuals always make it to the top of the list.

Craftsmanship

Gibson TV has dedicated a whopping 14 episodes to the process of crafting their guitars. View all the videos by clicking on the link below.

Keeping It Local

GEAR

Thunder Road Guitars

GEAR

Emerald City Guitars

GEAR

Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar

Fun Stuff

CULTURE

A Century of Seattle Music

TRIVIA

Which Guitar Are You?

TRIVIA

How Many Are There?

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STAFF BLOG

Jason Porter | Director of Education and Programs

This week Jason, aka The Ax Man, will delve into the interesting history of the guitar in pop culture, share some entertaining stories along with fun facts and special guests. READ HERE

Day 2 - ARCHIve diving

READ

MTV Unplugged | Nirvana

A Night To Remember:

On November 18, 1993, Nirvana performed at MTV studios in New York for a legendary acoustic performance that would air as part of the MTV Unplugged series. 

EXPLORE

The Guitar Gallery

The exhibition features nearly 20 guitars from music legends like Howlin' Wolf's 1965 Epiphone Casino, Nancy Wilson's 1965 Fender Stratocaster, Brandi Carlile's Taylor GC8, and Jerry Cantrell's 1984 G&L Rampage.

SUPPORT

Adopt An Artifact

Carrie used this instrument as her principal guitar for songwriting, performing, and recording as part of Sleater-Kinney in the mid- to late-90s.  Donations start at a minimum of $25 per artifact.

Collections

ARCHIVES

The Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex—shaping the future by preserving our heritage.

ARCHIVES

UW Ethnomusicology Archives

The UW Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Archives has been col­lecting, preserving, and amplifying unique ethnographic recordings since 1962. 

ARCHIVES

Gibson | The Collection

Host Mark Agnesi travels to around the country to check out the incredible guitar collections of master musicians and talk shop on their famous careers.

On Display

EXPLORE

Jimi Hendrix

Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966-1970 offers a contemplative look at the period of Hendrix’s life spent on the road as he catapulted to fame.

EXPLORE

Pearl Jam

See Pearl Jam’s journey from 1990 through more than 200 artifacts directly from Pearl Jam band members and their Seattle warehouse.

EXPLORE

Nirvana

Get an intimate look at the history of Seattle luminaries, Nirvana, with more than 200 rare artifacts, photographs, and oral histories.

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NEW PODCAST

Melinda Simms | Collections Manager

Collections Manager Melinda Simms discusses her favorite guitars and how she makes sure they are well-cared for which includes temperature tracking, cataloging, photographing, cleaning, and more.

LISTEN NOW

Day 3 - Artistic expression

Tuning Color

Up to 70% off

An Art Form

This week's coloring sheets are dedicated to all things guitar. Download the entire series by clicking on the box below. Be sure to use #MoPOP when sharing your finished works of art on social media.

ART

The Met | Play It Loud Exhibit

The exhibition is co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and will present approximately 130 instruments alongside posters and costumes. Many of rock's most celebrated and recognized instruments are featured. In addition to institutional and private collectors, many musicians are lending their performance and recording instruments. 

ART

The History of Concert Posters

 With every new music movement, came new art and new printing techniques that were influenced by the posters that came before. From the bare-bones style of the early boxing posters to the eye-bending imagery of psychedelic, concert posters are works of art and are becoming an increasingly valued commodity in the collecting community.

ART

Nine PRS Dragon Guitars

“When I was a teenager, I had a dream about a guitar with a dragon inlaid down the neck, and in 1992, I was able to realize that dream for the first time. It has become an important part of our history to celebrate the technology that allows us to create these intricate inlays and the idea that dreams can become reality.” 

- Paul Reed Smith

Guitar-Inspired Artists

ART

Picasso

Probably the most important figure of the 20th century. There had been no other artists, who had such an impact on the art world, or had a mass following of fans and critics alike.

ART

Juan Gris

Jose Victoriano Gonzalez-Perez better known as Juan Gris (March 23, 1887 - May 11, 1927) was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life.

ART

Michael Babyak

His paintings are a reflection of an exploration of feelings about both the physical and imagined worlds, resulting in work which possesses an intangible aspect that strikes a familiar note.

Day 4 - music appreciation

School's In Session

Watch & Learn

WATCH

Netflix | Music Documentaries

WATCH

Best Musical Documentaries

READ

60 Guitarist Biographies

For The Love of Music

LISTEN

KEPX

Their mission by relentlessly pursuing curatorial excellence in their programming remains relevant to music lovers of all ages.

ENGAGE

Sound Off!

Now in its 20th year, MoPOP’s Sound Off! is the premier 21-and-under music showcase and competition in the Pacific Northwest. 

ENGAGE

Culture Trip

The third best city in the U.S. for music fans; the city on everyone’s list for best live music; the place credited with the creation of its own music genre. 

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EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR

with Jacob McMurray | Director of Curatorial, Collections & Exhibits

In this white-glove tour, Jacob will show off some of the classics, but also feature some of the unsung heroes of the archives with an in-depth view of the instruments as well as sharing the stories behind their acquisition and exhibit integration.

WATCH HERE

Day 5 - Weekend inspiration

PLAY

Fender | Free Lessons

PLAY

Guitar Hero

SHOP

Search the Merch

CREATE

Old Into New

CREATE

Guitar Crafts

CREATE

DIY Guitar Picks

Next week's theme

SPACE

MoPOP

The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.