Strings, Wood, Metal, and More – Musical Instruments Through the Ages


For its summer exhibition, the Powerhouse Science Center has teamed up with the National GUITAR Museum to display Medieval to Metal - an exploration of the history of the guitar from its early origins with the Arabic Oud to modern-day Guitar-Hero controllers. With hands-on exhibits on how sound is made and what the inside of a guitar looks like, there’s a little something for everyone. By Hannah Robertson. This story is sponsored by Kroegers Ace Hardware and The Payroll Department

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There's something iconic about the guitar, the romanticism of a stripped down acoustic by the campfire, the electric squeal in a crowded concert, strumming chords or picked-out melodies, guitars are ubiquitous across history, culture and musical forms. The summer exhibit at the Powerhouse Science Center celebrates the history and the uniqueness of this ubiquitous instrument. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Kroegers Ace Hardware, and The Payroll Department. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

We're hosting Medieval to Metal, the art and evolution of the guitar. It's a traveling exhibition from the National Guitar Museum presented locally by Alpine Bank as our sponsor supporter. And it's a chance to bring historically significant beautiful, exotic guitars from all over the world.

Medieval to Metal, which is at the Powerhouse for the next few months is a look at the history of the guitar. A little bit of its science, a little bit of its art, a little bit of its design going back 5,000 years. So we have guitars that are hundreds of years old. We have guitars that are barely a few months old. And so we really cover the entire spectrum of the history of the guitar.

The exhibit is part of three traveling exhibits from the National Guitar Museum in New York city. Medieval to Metal features 40 different objects ranging from different types of guitars to photos of iconic rock stars and their favorite instrument, to diagrams showing the intricacies of how a guitar is made. Designed to show off the guitars in chronological order, visitors can explore the ways the guitar has evolved over the years from the medieval loot to the modern day electric guitar.

There's definitely some great historical instruments that were the precursors to the guitar. Some great examples behind me from other communities and cultures, but a lot of what's in the space are some really awesome, exotic, crazy guitars.

In keeping with the Powerhouse Science Center's goals to present activities that are engaging, informative, and fun, the Medieval to Metal exhibit includes more than just the visual aspect of the guitars. Throughout the museum, visitors will have several opportunities to pick up a guitar, or learn the way sound is created and amplified, or explore the different parts of a guitar.

One of the things we've done especially for the Powerhouse Museum given its focus on all kinds of arts and sciences, is we've brought along interactives that show the insides of guitars, how they're made. They show exploded versions of acoustic and electric guitars. We've worked with them in creating some interactives where kids and adults can actually sit down and play guitars and experiment with amplification and with guitars.

If you can think of any type of iconic guitar the exhibit probably has it. Plus another three or four, most likely will be new to you. Of course, there's the classic acoustic guitar and the Les Paul Gibson. But in exhibit in the corner showcases guitars made out of unique materials like license plates. And don't forget to stop by the ageless air guitar.

The thing I like best about having the exhibit installed is hearing people talk about, how they've never seen a particular kind of guitar, or particular instrument, or that they learn something that they previously didn't know. And we really hope that people will learn things. You kind of call it stealth science. You know, they'll read about guitars, and they'll learn a little bit about magnetism and pickups and how that works. So if people learn one thing during the time they're here, I'm a happy guy.

The biggest thing with this exhibit is for a lot of people in our community, the Powerhouse is a place for young children, that they've come to associate that way. We wanted to really endeavor to bring an exhibit in that would be cool and beautiful for those kids but would draw people across age ranges, folks who don't normally come to the Powerhouse for our regular experience. And that's my biggest hope is that we see a wide range of audience members coming in to see what we've brought to Durango

Medieval to Metal opened May 1st, and will run through September 3rd. The exhibit is open to anyone from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday through Sunday. In addition to the exhibit, the Powerhouse is now hosting Rockin' on the River, a series of free family friendly concerts on the Carver family patio, just outside the Powerhouse. Concerts will be May 29th, July 3rd, August 7th, and September 4th. For more information about the exhibit, Powerhouse Science Center programs or Rockin' on the River visit To learn more about the National Guitar Museum and its traveling exhibits, visit Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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