A new exhibition at the Musical Instrument Museum — "Treasures: Legendary Musical Instruments" — intends to showcase some of the one-of-a-kind musical instruments and artifacts that have been discovered and preserved throughout history — with at least one dating back to an estimated 6,000 years ago.
The first full-sized guitar, as we know them today, is on display, as well as Jimi Hendrix's Black Widow guitar. There are historical Chinese drums, and an ancient trumpet made from a conch shell that's been engraved with cultural markings and symbols.
"I think we all hope that when people come see this 'Treasures' exhibition, they sort of rethink their own definition of treasures because we give them a lot of opportunities to imagine the rarity of an item, the artful qualities of an item, the historic value of an item and they all qualify as treasures," said Rich Walter, curator for United States, Canada, and Europe at MIM.
"Ultimately, that's really the whole goal — is to recognize and celebrate the fact that for thousands of years, people have determined that music should be a really central and important part of their lives," he said.
The gallery, which is located on the first floor of the museum, has roughly 80 artifacts on display, such as a beautiful Grand piano dating back to 1989 and the world's largest sousaphone, similar to a Tuba, whose bells has been engraved with various designs and markings.
There are also headsets that people can wear to listen to an audio tour throughout the gallery.
The exhibit opened Friday, and is expected to stay open through at least September 2022, said Walter.
Admission is $14 - $27, which includes entry to the "Treasures" exhibit and the rest of the museum. Currently, the museum is encouraging advanced reservations and timed-entry tickets for the exhibition.
IF YOU GO:
Treasures: Legendary Musical Instruments (Nov. 2021 - Sept. 2022)
Musical Instrument Museum
4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix AZ 85050