Photo: Sonny Portacio


Our special exhibition program was—very special indeed in 2016! What Music Means to Me (WMMTM), the unique exhibition based on Richard Rejino’s photographs and testimonials about the meaning and impact of music on us all, ended in 2015, but the response from our visitors to that exhibition was ongoing—nothing short of phenomenal and an inspiration to us all.

Which meant it was truly a “tough act to follow”! But exhibitions in the special exhibition gallery are designed to be temporary and offer our visitors a variety of themes. If WMMTM was an unusual presentation for us, so too was the first exhibition in 2016, LOW: The Power and Beauty of Bass. Rather than explore a single instrument family, this exhibition looked at an entire sonic palette—the science, sounds, instruments and musicians of the low (bass) register.

In November, we opened what might be our most elegant and eventually our most popular exhibition to date: Dreadnought: 100 Years of a Mighty Martin Guitar. This exhibition tells the little known story behind C.F. Martin & Co.’s introduction (and subsequent development) of the famous “dreadnought” guitar style, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. That exhibition continues through April 2017 and should not be missed.

Smaller exhibitions in 2016—what we call “spotlight” exhibitions—are sometimes in the lobby, other times in the galleries. This year they included Jim Harvey—Luthier; Rock Star Guitars; a small banjo display off-site at the New Village Arts theatre in downtown Carlsbad; and an installation in gallery five of the Museum, highlighting Casio’s emergence in the music products industry and its impact on both amateur and professional musicians.

Add in an expansion—nine new countries—of the Global Spotlight interactive touch screen and new artifacts in the core exhibition spaces, and you can see how energetic and exciting the exhibition program was in 2016. It kept Mike Hendrickson, our Manager of Operations and Exhibitions, very busy, that’s for sure.

These special exhibitions wouldn’t happen, though, without the generous help of lenders, who share their important holdings with us, and musicians and scholars, who share their knowledge and experience with us. Once again, we are in the (pleasant) predicament of having too many friends to thank! Here are a select few, so if we miss your name, you know who you are, and our thanks go to you as well.

  • Bob Amada, A&S Crafted Products
  • Jayme Arnett, Stewart-MacDonald
  • Tom Bedell, Two Old Hippies LLC
  • Dick Boak, C. F. Martin & Co.
  • Edie and Michael Boddicker
  • Rick Carlson, Kala Brand Music Co.
  • Harry Fleishman, Free Range Guitars
  • Howard and Flower Harvey
  • Lisa S. Johnson
  • Laurence Juber
  • Mike Kamphuis, Conn-Selmer Inc.
  • Michael Kennedy
  • Kamau Kenyatta
  • Chris Martin, C. F. Martin & Co.
  • Steve McCreary, Collings Guitars
  • Richard McDonald, Fender Musical Instrument Company
  • Tony Meeks, Zither Music Company
  • Sami Mulhern, Two Old Hippies LLC
  • Andy Powers, Taylor Guitars
  • Richard Rejino
  • Amanda Rogers, Gold Tone Music Group
  • Stephen Schmidt, Casio
  • Dr. Chris Warren
  • Andy Zildjian, Sabian