MODA’s new exhibition explores guitar design through iconic instruments

Includes guitars played by Kurt Cobain, Jack White, St. Vincent and more.

St. Vincent with yellow ernie ball signature model
Image: Ernie Ball

The Museum Of Design Atlanta (MODA) is currently hosting Wire & Wood, an exhibition that investigates the fundamentals of guitar design and features instruments played by a number of famous players.

Besides exploring the guitar’s form, Wire & Wood also looks at how guitarists have used the instrument to mould their public personas. In doing so, the exhibition aims to provoke thought on the question: “Does form follow function, or is image king?”

Wire & Wood has two main segments. The first frames the guitar as an unadulterated object, and invites audiences to consider how factors such as shape and tonewood species influence its sound. The second zooms in on the modern luthiery trade, honing in on topics such as mass manufacturing, the use of substitute materials, and how famous guitars earned their stripes.

As mentioned earlier, Wire & Wood has on display an eye-catching collection of instruments. Highlights include Bo Diddley’s Gretsch 6138, Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster, James Hetfield’s Signature ESP Snakebyte, Derek Trucks’ Gibson SG, Jack White’s Diddley Bow and St. Vincent’s Signature Ernie Ball Music Man.

Here’s a preview of the exhibit:

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Wire & Wood will run until 29 September. You can get tickets here.

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