Met’s rock & roll exhibition draws 500,000 visitors — so far

Gibson Guitar Corp. (Kalamazoo, MI); painted by Keith Richards. Les Paul Custom electric guitar (serial no. 7 7277), 1957; painted 1968. Carved mahogany body and neck, ebony fingerboard, 24 3/4 in. scale; black finish with hand-painted design; three patent-applied-for (PAF) humbucking pickups, three-way selector switch, two volume and two tone controls. Collection of Keith Richards

NEW YORK – Attendance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s acclaimed exhibition Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll topped 500,000 visitors—an attendance milestone—during the afternoon of August 14.

In the 18 weeks since it opened on April 8, 2019, the exhibition has drawn many visitors to the museum for the first time. Surveys conducted by The Met’s market research team showed that, of the 500,000 total visitors to the exhibition to date, 12% (or 60,000) were first-time visitors to the museum who came specifically to see the exhibition.

The exhibition is on view through October 1.

To celebrate the attendance milestone, a catalogue of the exhibition was presented to a visitor by the show’s curators, Jayson Kerr Dobney, Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of the Department of Musical Instruments at The Met, and Craig J. Inciardi, Curator and Director of Acquisitions of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

About the Exhibition

Dedicated entirely to the iconic instruments of rock and roll, this major loan exhibition explores how individual artists used their instruments to create unique sounds and visual identity. Featuring more than 130 instruments dating from 1939 to 2017, the exhibition includes the instruments of such artists as Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Jett, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Steve Miller, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Elvis Presley, Prince, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Eddie Van Halen, St. Vincent, and others as well as vintage posters, stage costumes, and epoch-making videos.

The exhibition is made possible by the John Pritzker Family Fund, the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Diane Carol Brandt, the Paul L. Wattis Foundation, Kenneth and Anna Zankel, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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