At more than 16 feet across, 43 feet long, and 2,255 pounds, Guinness World Records certified an enormous Gibson Flying-V guitar as being the world’s biggest playable guitar.
Even better, it’s just one of the many unique guitars on display in a new gallery.
A touring exhibition of The National Guitar Museum, titled “Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World,” has grooved its way on over to Jersey City’s Liberty Science Center (LSC). Apart from the enormous guitar, the exhibition also features a gallery of over 60 rare and remarkable instruments, and fun, playable interactives.
“Were really excited to have the guitar exhibition here at Liberty Science Center,” said LSC’s public relations manager Mary Meluso. “The goal of the science center is to get guests excited, to get them curious, to spark their imaginations, and that’s something the guitar has been doing for hundreds of years.”
Not only does the exhibit experiment with the science of sound, it also traces the guitar’s evolution from the year 3,000 BCE all the way to the present.
“It’s important that children understand and learn where music came from,” says David Locke, owner of Lawk Star Guitars. “We are all inspired by players that came before us and each and everyone of their styles they injected into history. It’s so cool to see the history of guitars and the different looks that each manufacturer adds to history. Music is fun, first and for most!”
The exhibit’s gallery features such notable instruments as one of the oldest guitars still in existence, one of the world’s very first electric guitars, the eight-necked “Rock Ock” guitar, and — of course — the world’s largest playable guitar.
The 60 guitars on display are only a sample of the National Guitar Museum’s larger collection, which boasts more than 200 guitars and is valued at about $2,000,000.
Many of the instruments in the gallery came from the personal collection of Harvey Newquist, executive director of the National Guitar Museum and curator of the exhibit. The museum eventually started to collect more and more instruments from various artists and collectors.
The largest guitar in the world actually came from a high school in Houston, Texas, who had built it as part of a science project.
“We had to look under a lot of rocks,” Newquist said. “We always knew what we wanted for the museum, it was just a question of going out and finding them.”
The “Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World” exhibit is one of the traveling museum’s best exhibits. It’s been featured in 10 different museums across the United States, and is slated to visit 10 more.
Now that the collection is big enough, Newquist is hoping that the museum will be able to find a permanent home. He says, “We would like to take this off the road and create the first ever brick and mortar building dedicated to the guitar.”