Rockin' new exhibit at the Bullock Museum explores the history of the guitar

Family friendly traveling exhibition comes to Austin from the National GUITAR Museum

MAY 18, 2021 (AUSTIN, TX) — A new exhibition opening tomorrow, May 19 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum takes visitors on a journey through more than 5,000 years of guitar history, from its origins in the ancient world to today. GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World immerses visitors in the science, sound, history, and cultural importance of the iconic instrument.

"This exhibition is a perfect fit for the Bullock Museum in Austin, and Texas as a whole, with our talented musicians' rich legacy and innovation in producing music across all genres," said Bullock Museum Director Margaret Koch. "From the oldest to the youngest, GUITAR is designed for exploration of the music-makers that unite our communities."

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World was created by the National GUITAR Museum in New York. It features more than 60 guitars, including examples of the instrument’s early ancestors and close relatives, 19th and 20th century styles that introduce well-known names like Martin, Gibson and Fender, recognizable designs made popular by famous musicians, and unique guitars that reflect the advanced technology of today. Visitors will also experience video performances, a luthier's workbench, and stunning x-ray images of the inner workings of the instrument.

“The guitar is the most enduring icon in American history,” said HP Newquist, Executive Director and Founder of the National GUITAR Museum. “It has been around longer than baseball, basketball, soft drinks, and sports cars. This exhibition is a celebration of all that, and more.”

The exhibition also features the world's largest playable guitar, a 1967 Gibson Flying V reissue replica created by students at the Academy of Science and Technology in The Woodlands, Texas. The giant instrument measures 43 feet 7.5 inches long by 16 feet 5.5 inches wide and was certified by Guinness World Records in 2001 and 2017.

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World is on view May 19 through August 15, 2021. Bullock Museum members will celebrate the new exhibition with an exclusive online event on May 26, and the Museum will present corresponding public programming throughout the summer. For more information, visit

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GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World is produced by the National GUITAR Museum.

Sponsored by The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall Fund.

About the National GUITAR Museum
The National GUITAR Museum, LLC is the first museum in the United States dedicated to the history, evolution, and cultural impact of the guitar. Its touring exhibition, GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World, has travelled to more than two dozen cities since 2011 and will ultimately become the basis of The National GUITAR Museum in its permanent home. The Museum will utilize advanced technology to create an environment that is engaging, entertaining, and educational for visitors of all ages. The Museum’s board is comprised of individuals drawn from the music, technology, event, and museum communities. Current advisors include guitar greats Steve Vai, Steve Howe, Tony Iommi, Liona Boyd, Joe Bonamassa, and Ritchie Blackmore. The Executive Director of the Museum is HP Newquist.


The Bullock Texas State History Museum, a division of the State Preservation Board and an accredited institution of the American Alliance of Museums, illuminates and celebrates Texas history, people, and culture. With dynamic, award-winning exhibitions, educational programming for all ages, and an IMAX® theater with the largest screen in Texas, the Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals across the world to bring the Story of Texas to life. For more information, visit or call (866)369-7108.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

black guitar in a display case signed by B.B. King in the Bullock Museum

This press release is part of the GUITAR Media Kit

The GUITAR exhibition at the Bullock Museum explores the history of the world's most recognized instrument through an impressive display of guitars—ranging from rare and antique to popular and innovative—along with engaging interactives, models, video, audio, and photographs. View Media Kit