The Harmonious Craft: American Musical Instruments

September 29, 1978 – August 5, 1979

Renwick Gallery
1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor

On display are more than 100 handcrafted contemporary instruments, selected on basis of design, workmanship and performance.

Traditional instruments include violins, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, dulcimers, clavichords, whistles, recorders, tambourines, and organ and a harp.

Unusual instruments include a ceramic drum, echo chasers, a stringed instrument made from a crutch, ocarinas, a glass harmonica, a cow's jawbone with electronic parts which makes beeping sounds, and instrument made from an armadillo shell, and a wooden calliope which plays notes when a glass marble is inserted into its carved mouth.

Twenty-five of the instruments have been recorded and can be heard on earphones at the exhibit.

Organized by Lloyd Herman, Director of the Renwick Gallery, and James Weaver, Associate Curator of Musical Instruments, MHT.


Casette tape and record available: The Sounds of Harmonious Craft