We're at the Met! Again! (April 15, 2014)
We are currently represented with pieces from our personal collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York, proudly, not for the first time. There is a fabulous exhibit in their Musical Instrument Department now titled "Early American Guitars: The Instruments of C.F. Martin". The exhibit features thirty-five instruments, mostly made by C.F. Martin between 1834 and 1859, showing how his original designs grew from the Viennese instruments in the region he came from, through Spanish influences, and into the basics of the guitars that the Martin family still makes today in Nazareth, PA. In the 1960s and 70s, we occasionally would come across guitars made in New York by Louis Schmidt and George Maul, which had features and a style remarkably similar to Martin's work, considerably more so than guitars of any other makers of the period. It turned out that both of these men had worked with or for Martin in the 1840s and later went off on their own. The Museum has asked us to loan them some finer examples of Schmidt and Maul's work to complement their show, along with instruments of a few others who worked with Martin in those years. The exhibit will be up through December 2014 and we highly recommend your going to see it if and when you might be in our fair city. It is quite the beautiful display, big enough to intrigue you alluringly but not so big as to prevent you from seeing other parts of the Museum. And while you're in town, please come and visit us as well. We'd love to see you here.
The Met's last exhibit of stringed instruments by American makers, a few years ago, featured exclusively the work of John D'Angelico and the two men who most notably carried on his tradition, Jimmy D'Aquisto and John Monteleone. We have in our private collection many of the original patterns, templates, drawings, and ephemera (such unused mother-of-pear logo peghead inlay, etc. etc.) from John D'Angelico's shop, as well as the only known example of a D'Angelico violin extant. We were honored to have The Met ask us to loan them these items for that exhibit.