Carter Family & Cash Display Opens at Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix!

Image635482546640226747The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix recently unveiled exhibits honoring the Carter Family and Johnny Cash. The exhibits, located in MIM’s Artist Gallery, provide guests with an overview of the musical careers of the artists and their historical impact.

Items on display in the Carter Family and Johnny Cash exhibits have never before been displayed for the public and come to MIM on loan from John Carter Cash, son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and Dale Jett, grandson of A.P. Carter. The items will be on display through April 2016.

“When I first visited MIM, I was excited by its inimitable beauty and scale. It has been a wondrous blessing to work with the staff there and help bring about the Carter Family / Johnny Cash display,” said John Carter Cash. “I feel it is inspired and shows a unique view into the history of country music that cannot be seen anywhere else.”

The music of the Carters (A.P., Sara and Maybelle Carter) has been celebrated for nearly a century. The trio, which recorded more than 250 songs, is widely recognized for helping launch country music’s commercial beginnings and for inspiring many artists in later genres including bluegrass and rock.

Johnny Cash, who came to be known as the “Man in Black,” bucked music industry norms, singing of America’s marginalized populations and famously making two live albums in prisons with inmate audiences. Despite struggles with drug addiction, he went on to achieve superstardom, selling more than 50 million albums and winning new audiences into the 21st century. Image635482547438012138 

Items on display in the Carter Family and Johnny Cash exhibits include:

  • A.P. Carter’s 1929 Martin 00-28 guitar, played by the original Carter Family 
    June Carter Cash’s custom Orthey autoharp and fingerpicks
  • Johnny Cash’s black Manuel Cuevas stage suit which was worn in concert and features embroidered acorns and oak leaves
  • Johnny Cash’s black Martin D-42JC signature guitar which was played in concert and on several of his “American” album
  • Johnny Cash’s 1936 Martin 5-18 guitar which was played by Cash, family and friends in Cash’s home and inlaid in the early 1970s with acorns and oak leaves
  • Johnny Cash’s 2002 Grammy award for “Give My Love to Rose,” Best Male Country Vocal Performance

The exhibits also feature photographs from the Grand Ole Opry Archives and performance footage from several sources.

“It would be difficult to overstate the significance of these artists in American music,” said MIM curator for North America, Dr. Cullen Strawn. “It’s an honor to share their objects, songs and stories with our guests.”

The Carter Family and Johnny Cash exhibits join the ranks of other country music-focused exhibits at MIM. MIM’s Artist Galley features instruments played by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Toby Keith, Taylor Swift and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In MIM’s United States/Canada Gallery, the Country exhibit displays items belonging to Marty Robbins, Buck Owens, Kix Brooks and others.

About MIM

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches the world by collecting, preserving and making accessible a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. We offer our guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming and exceptional musical performances. MIM also fosters appreciation of diverse cultures around the globe by showing that we all innovate, adapt and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.

Entrance to MIM’s Artist Gallery is included with general museum admission.

The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit MIM.org or call 480.478.6000.

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