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About the Exhibition and Related Programs

The exhibition "From Frying Pan to Flying V: The Rise of the Electric Guitar" was on display from November 1996 through October 1997 at the National Museum of American History. It was produced by the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, in association with The Chinery Collection.

Many of the guitars displayed in the exhibition were from The Chinery Collection in Toms River, New Jersey. The collection, now sold, was originally established to identify and preserve instruments that are significant to the history of the guitar in America.

The exhibition was presented in conjunction with the with the 1996 programming series "Electrified, Amplified, and Deified: The Electric Guitar, Its Makers, and Its Players," the second in the Lemelson Center's annual series on New Perspectives on Invention and Innovation.

     
Photograph of exhibit case Photograph of exhibit case Photograph of exhibit case
Click to enlarge image"From Frying Pan to Flying V" exhibit case featuring iconic electric guitars. Click to enlarge imageMore electric guitars in the "From Frying Pan to Flying V" exhibition. Click to enlarge imageAcoustic and electric guitars from The Chinery Collection.
Photograph of G.E, Smith in front of audience of school children Photograph of Les Paul talking at program Photograph of people playing guitars at the guitar makers display
Click to enlarge imageG.E. Smith at the 1996 "The Electric Guitar: Its Makers and Its Players" video conference. Click to enlarge image1996 "Portrait of Invention" program featuring Les Paul. Click to enlarge imageGuitar makers' display at the National Museum of American History in 1996.


 

Credits

This exhibition was a collective effort by staff of the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution. Historical exhibitions are complex undertakings, and the history they present is an interpretation of historical evidence informed by knowledge and experience.

Exhibition Curators:
Monica Smith and Gary Sturm

1996 Web Site Design and Production:
Rodney J. van Zyl

2007 Revised Web Site Design:
Benjamin Bloom

Special thanks to: The Chinery Collection, the Country Music Hall of Fame, John Peden, Rickenbacker International Corporation, Richard R. Smith, the Division of Cultural History at the National Museum of American History, and contributing authors Marcia Daft and Charlie McGovern.

 



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