Exhibition will be open Jan. 19 to April 14

ST. LOUIS, MO. (Jan. 09, 2019) – The Saint Louis Science Center is ready to rock St. Louis with a new special exhibition, GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World, opening on Jan. 19. The 7,000-square-foot, fully immersive exhibition from The National GUITAR Museum explores the instrument’s evolution and history, the science of creating sound with wood and steel and the impact the guitar has had on cultures over its 5,000-year history.

“The guitar is the most popular instrument in history, and this exhibition was designed specifically to contain elements of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics,” said HP Newquist, founder and executive director of The National GUITAR Museum. “Visitors to the exhibition will be able to explore and experience concepts such as electromagnetism, sound waves, frequency, decibel levels, mathematical scales, engineering design, materials science, and much more.”

Nearly 100 artifacts, including over 70 instruments, trace the guitar’s evolution and the way cultures and musicians drastically changed the shape and sound of the instrument over time

Highlights include:

  • The World’s Largest Guitar: Certified by Guinness World Records, at over 43 feet long and 16 feet wide, this flying V is the world’s largest playable guitar.
  • Nyatiti: Originating in the upper Nile Valley in 3,000 BCE, this is one of the first stringed instruments and has changed very little over the centuries.
  • Gibson J-200: The definitive shape of country and western guitars, the Gibson J-200 was first introduced in 1937 in an effort to change the shape and sound of acoustic guitars.
  • Fender Telecaster: This is the first mass-produced six-string solid body electric guitar dating back to 1949.
  • Fender Stratocaster: First introduced in 1954, the Strat shaped the image of early rock and roll and has become the most popular electric guitar ever.
  • Air Guitar: Since the 1970s, the Air Guitar has been the instrument of choice for teens and wannabe rock gods.
  • Guitar Hero/Rock Band Controller: Replacing the typical video game controller with a guitar, Guitar Hero and Rock Band put novice rock stars on stage.

The Science Center will also supplement the national exhibition with items from St. Louis’ music history, including items from the collections of Chuck Berry and Bob Heil.

“Like science, music is part of our everyday lives and the guitar has had a huge impact on people throughout history,” said Jackie Mollet, managing director of visitor services at the Science Center. “The Science Center is excited to open this exhibition exploring that impact, as well as the science of this instrument that transcends genres and generations, and connects with almost everyone in some way. These connections are what help us engage our guests with our mission ‘to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning.’”

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World will run through April 14 and be located on the first floor of the Science Center. The exhibition is made possible through the support of Shock City School of Music, who will also be providing programming and free lessons to exhibition visitors regularly throughout its run.

This is a paid experience. Tickets prices are:

  • Adults (ages 13-59): $10.95
  • Seniors (ages 60+): $7.95
  • Children (ages 5-12): $7.95
  • Children 4 and Under: Free
  • Members: $5.00

For tickets or more information, please visit slsc.org or call 314.289.4400.

Saint Louis Science Center
The mission of the Saint Louis Science Center is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning. Named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate in 2016, the Saint Louis Science Center features more than 700 interactive exhibits, as well as a five-story OMNIMAX® Theater, Boeing Hall and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. For more information about the Saint Louis Science Center, please visit slsc.org.

Contact: Mindy Peirce
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