VMFA Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art
October 8, 2022 @ 12:00 am - March 19, 2023 @ 11:59 pm$16
Explore the guitar as visual subject, enduring symbol, and storyteller’s companion. Strummed everywhere from parlors and front porches to protest rallies and rock arenas—the guitar also appears far and wide in American art. Its depictions enable artists and their human subjects to address topics that otherwise go untold or under-told. Experience paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and music in a multimedia presentation that unpacks the guitar’s cultural significance, illuminating matters of class, gender, race, ethnicity, and identity.
Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art is the first exhibition to explore the instrument’s symbolism in American art from the early 19th century to the present day. Featuring 125 works of art, as well as 35 musical instruments, the exhibition demonstrates that guitars figure prominently in the visual stories Americans tell themselves about themselves—their histories, identities, and aspirations. The guitar—portable, affordable, and ubiquitous—appears in American art more than any other instrument, and this exhibition explores those depictions as well as the human ambitions, intentions, and connections facilitated by the instrument—a powerful tool and elastic emblem.