Met, MoMA display the guitar as (and in) art

Since it appeared in the seventeenth century, the guitar has been a work of visual art in its own right, as well as a powerful influence on artists in other media.

Guitar Heroes, an exhibit running at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art through July 4, traces the evolution of the instrument as it evolved in the hands of its master craftsmen, from the Baroque artisans of Northern Italy to the New York luthiers John D'Angelico, James D'Aquisto, and John Monteleone. On display are some of the finest Baroque, classical, electric, flattop, and archtop instruments ever built.

For those of you not planning to be in New York City anytime soon, the Met has released its first-ever iOS app. Usable as a guide to the exhibit, the free app also includes photo galleries,interviews, clips of master luthiers at work, and performances on exhibited instruments from luminaries (and S+V faves) such as Mark Knopfler. You can also check out many of those performances-including clips of Steve Miller and Bucky Pizzarelli on their own museum-quality instruments-on the Met's site.

Running concurrently (through June 6), the Museum of Modern Art offers Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914, an exploration of the evolution of Pablo Picasso's mixed media construction, "Guitar" in its various incarnations. If you can't make it to MoMa you can still check out the exhibit's online companion. Well worth a look, for guitar heroes, fans, or anybody else.

Via Kurt Gottschalk at NYPress.

-Michael Berk