Van Halen, Metallica Guitars Featured In Major Museum Exhibition

The first major exhibition in an art museum dedicated entirely to the iconic instruments of rock and roll will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning April 8th, 2019. "Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll" will display more than 130 instruments, including guitars played by Eddie Van Halen, Metallica's James Hetfield and others.

Dating from 1939 to 2017, the exhibit also contains instruments played by Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Don Felder, Kim Gordon, Jimi Hendrix, Wanda Jackson, Joan Jett, Lady Gaga, Steve Miller, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Kate Pierson, Elvis Presley, Prince, Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Stevie Ray Vaughan, St. Vincent, Tina Weymouth, Nancy Wilson and more.

Met director Max Hollein said that the exhibit celebrates a "formative chapter in 20th century art and culture, and the extraordinary objects featured in this presentation convey the innovation, experimentation, passion, and rebellion at the heart of rock and roll."

Organized thematically, "Play It Loud" will explore how musicians embraced and advanced emerging technologies; the phenomenon of the "Guitar Gods"; the crafting of a visual identity through the use of instruments; and the destruction of instruments in some live performances, one of rock's most defining gestures.

By displaying several rigs used in live performances and sound recordings, the exhibition will also demonstrate how artists created their own individual sounds. Meanwhile, some 40 vintage posters, costumes, and performance videos will illustrate key components of the musical movement's visual style and impact.