“Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” at the Met Museum (NYC)
Rarely Seen Guitars, Bass, Drum Kits, Keys, and Horns from More than 80 Renowned Musicians Celebrate the Unique Role of Instruments in Rock.
The first major exhibition in an art museum dedicated entirely to the iconic instruments of rock and roll goes on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from April 8, 2019. Through more than 130 instruments dating from 1939 to 2017 – played by artists such as Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Don Felder, Kim Gordon, Jimi Hendrix, James Hetfield, Wanda Jackson, Joan Jett, Lady Gaga, Steve Miller, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Kate Pierson, Elvis Presley, Prince, Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, St. Vincent, Tina Weymouth, Nancy Wilson, and others –“Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” will explore one of the most influential artistic movements of the 20th century and the objects that made the music possible.
“With its outstanding collection and comprehensive Department of Musical Instruments, The Met has for decades exhibited, celebrated, and contextualized the global artistic vision and extraordinary craftsmanship involved in developing musical instruments,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “Play It Loud celebrates a formative chapter in 20th-century art and culture, and the extraordinary objects featured in this presentation convey the innovation, experimentation, passion, and rebellion at the heart of rock and roll. The exhibition allows us to appreciate the artistry of the instruments as well as their powerful role in the creation and expression of rock’s legendary sound and identity.”
Organized thematically, “Play It Loud” will explore how musicians embraced and advanced emerging technologies; the phenomenon of the “Guitar Gods”; the crafting of a visual identity through the use of instruments; and the destruction of instruments in some live performances, one of rock’s most defining gestures.
The exhibition will include many of rock’s most celebrated instruments, including such guitars as Jimi Hendrix’s electric guitar “Love Drops,” originally decorated by him; Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”; Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstein”; Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf”; and Joan Jett’s “Melody Maker,” as well as drums from Keith Moon’s “Pictures of Lily” drum set. By displaying several rigs used in live performances and sound recordings, the exhibition will also demonstrate how artists created their own individual sounds, and some 40 vintage posters, costumes, and performance videos will illustrate key components of the musical movement’s visual style and impact.
Fifth Avenue, Floor 1, Gallery 199
April 8 – October 1, 2019