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Wire, Wood, and Legend: Guitar Gallery

Dave Grohl's 1990 Gibson Explorer in Guitar Gallery

The Guitar Gallery has returned to MoPOP in all its musical glory.

Residing in its new home across from Indie Game Revolution, the exhibition features 17 guitars from musicians across many genres. In just the space of a few feet, you can check out Dave Grohl’s 1990 Gibson Explorer, Nancy Wilson’s 1965 Fender Stratocaster, and Howlin’ Wolf’s 1965 Epiphone Casino, which he liked so much he had a picture of him playing the instrument on his business card.


Beyond the artifacts, the new Guitar Gallery dives even deeper with an exploration of six popular types of guitar and examples of iconic musicians that played them. Here, you’ll learn how the Gretch 6120’s twangy sound, complete with Bigsby vibrato bar, was an ideal match for the Cramps guitarist Poison Ivy’s retro style, or how Angus Young’s commitment to the Gibson SG could be counted as the model’s longest running endorsement.

If you’ve ever wondered just how the electric guitar actually works, make sure to check out the Anatomy of a Guitar infographic that walks you through the basic structural elements that all electric guitars have in common from frets and pickups to strap buttons.


Once you’ve thoroughly explored Guitar Gallery make sure to head upstairs where you can learn how to play the guitar in Sound Lab and make your own Jam Studio recording.


We’re thrilled to have this celebration of the guitar under our roof. As Director of Curatorial Affairs Jacob McMurray states in his introduction to the gallery, “The iconic music they produce is a fusion of player and instrument, resulting from experimentation and inspiration. Immerse yourself in these stories of wire, wood, and legend.”

Guitar Gallery is included in museum general admission.


About the author

Adrienne is a writer and editor from Seattle and is MoPOP's Content Wizard (patent pending).