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The Luthier’s Craft: Instrument Making Traditions of the Blue Ridge

Opens November 3rd

The craftsmanship and artistry of our region’s stringed instrument makers are celebrated with Luthier’s Craft— a new special exhibit at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum opening November 3rd.

Luthiers – skilled makers of stringed musical instruments – are both keepers of tradition and innovators. They carry on the old ways of working wood and string to create beautiful and functional instruments, while also bringing new creativity and technology to the fore in their pieces. The Luthier’s Craft explores and documents the traditional arts of fiddle, guitar, banjo, and dulcimer making in Southern Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Featured craftspeople include guitar maker Wayne Henderson, fiddle makers Audrey Hash Ham and Chris Testerman, banjo maker Johnny Gentry, and dulcimer maker Ernest Combs. Supplementary panels highlighting luthiers Randal Eller, Jimmy Edmonds, Kevin Fore, and Chuck Tipton are also included. The exhibit showcases these craftspeople and their instruments, and offers visitors a hands-on, interactive exploration of the rich history of this traditional craft.

The Luthier’s Craft was produced by the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History with financial support provided by The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Interlam, Hibco Plastics, and Dr. Mac and Becky Sumner. It is on display at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum from November 3, 2017 to March 4, 2018.