Postcard Portfolio: National Music Museum

A popular topic of discussion among EMPs is out of town museum experiences. Museum professionals seem to enjoy visiting museums in other parts of the world and dissecting their experience. It seemed logical that, as we traverse the globe, we share our museum experiences with you. Each addition to our Postcard Portfolio will provide a brief snapshot of our exhibit as we see the world one museum at a time. Today’s postcard comes to us from Mandi Magnusson-Hung of the Wells Fargo History Museum of Philadelphia.

pcportfolioThe Museum: National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota

The Visit: Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Best Thing: Multiple galleries of musical instruments from around the world paired with an amazing audio guide that lets you hear many of the instruments on display.

The Worst Thing: The “ethnic” room. In one gallery the museum shifts from discussing aesthetics, design, and timbre to the “isn’t this odd” technique. Instruments are mounted to every surface, seemingly with little planning other than making them all fit in the gallery.

Why You Should Go: The NMM has a beautiful collection of instruments and (ethnic gallery notwithstanding) generally supplies succinct and entertaining labels. Go for the guitars and pianos, stay for the hurdy gurdys, trumpet marine, and pochettes.

Highlights:

  • Everything is contained in one of Carnegie’s donated libraries. Architecture!
  • The second floor hallway harmonica exhibit.
  • Gibson, Gibson everywhere.
  • The heart-shaped trumpet from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.
  • An electric lap steel guitar that can double as a crutch.

 

 This barrel cello is included in the Graese Gallery's section on American instrument making.  Nearby are exhibits of Civil War instruments, and a case of fantastic mandolins (including one shaped like an airplane).

This barrel cello is included in the Graese Gallery’s section on American instrument making. Nearby are exhibits of Civil War instruments, and a case of fantastic mandolins (including one shaped like an airplane).

The Cutler-Challen Choral Mandolino by Stradivari, 1680.  Much like Gibson makes more than guitars, Stradivari made more than violins.  People excited by Italian instruments can't miss the Rawlins Gallery.

The aforementioned “ethnic” gallery, one of few spaces in the museum that relies on the “collage and number” system of display. This is a Saùng-gauk or arched harp from Burma (Myanmar).

 The museum should have a scavenger hunt for Gibson instruments that aren't guitars.  Here's a mandolin from 1903.

The museum should have a scavenger hunt for Gibson instruments that aren’t guitars. Here’s a mandolin from 1903.

IMG_20140626_122823

A chest organ from 1620. It’s small, but hefty and takes two people to carry and operate. One person uses the handles on top to pump the bellows while the other person plays.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s