Presented by Dr. Leo G. Mazow

The guitar figures prominently in the visual stories Americans tell themselves about themselves and their histories, identities, and aspirations. As meaningful to hear as it is fun to play, the guitar has unique expressive possibilities in the visual arts. This illustrated lecture introducing Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art will explore the guitar’s symbolism in American art from the early nineteenth century to the present day, demonstrating the instrument’s capability of denoting myriad historical topics, from race and ethnicity to class and gender—as well as the American music industry itself.

Dr. Leo G. Mazow, Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art, has been at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts since 2016. A specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American painting and cultural history, he received his PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2010 through 2016 he was an associate professor of art history at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. From 2002 through 2010 he was curator of American art at the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University.


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