New MoSH Exhibit Features Iconic and Memphis Guitars

MoSH’s newest exhibit “America at The Crossroads: The GUITAR and A Changing Nation" and “Grind City Picks: The Music that Made Memphis” runs now through Oct. 22.

close up of guitar with exhibit in background
America at The Crossroads: The GUITAR and A Changing Nation

We got a sneak peek of MoSH’s latest exhibit which puts more than 50 guitars on display. The guitars explore American culture and the historical importance of the instrument throughout history including a B.B. King signed Lucille guitar. *Note: they were still putting the finishing touches on the display when we visited it so you may notice some unfinished/construction-like sites in the back of the photos.

While the majority of the guitars come from the National GUITAR Museum as part of the traveling exhibit “America at The Crossroads: The GUITAR and A Changing Nation".

MoSH has added a special Memphis section to display guitars from some of the most notable Memphis musicians from MonoNeon, Julien Baker, and more.

two guitars side-by-side in case
TeleVision Guitar in case with exhibit in background
TeleVision Guitar

America at The Crossroads: The GUITAR and A Changing Nation

The touring exhibit displays 40 instruments dating back to the vihuela of the 1500s traveling through time with the guitars like the Gibson Flying V to the Ernie Ball St. Vincent. 

Also on display are some of the most out of the box guitars made like the Visionary Instruments TeleVision. Without spoiling the details too much, the Cochran Boostercaster, which looks like it came out of a horror movie, is a must-see.

close up of guitar
7 guitars on display, all different kinds but
Grind City Picks: The Music that Made Memphis

Grind City Picks: The Music that Made Memphis

Of course, we’re biased and love the Memphis section especially which goes from the Blues clubs on Beale Street to Midtown’s punk dive bars. This was a specially curated addition to the exhibit by MoSH. You can’t tell the historical story of the guitar without Memphis. 

As mentioned earlier, the specially built out display features MonoNeon’s guitar and special items and clothing from him. You can see the first guitar gifted to James Alexander of The Bar-Kays and Julien Baker’s guitar with sheets of lyrics she hand wrote.

corner of memphis exhibit showing guitar and wall decorated with memphians
Grind City Picks: The Music that Made Memphis

The Way They Play

MoSH will host events in addition to the exhibit. The second Saturday of each month MoSH will spotlight a special guest musician in a segment called “The Way They Play” which will be discussions and demonstrations of iconic styles, tricks, techniques, and quirks.

Doors open for seating at 1:30 with the talks beginning at 2 p.m. in the Deep End Theater in the Mansion. The talks are included with the purchase of a Saturday ticket.

Julien baker's guitar on display with handwritten lyric sheets next to it
Julien Baker's Guitar and Lyric Sheets
memphis punk is not dead sign
Memphis Punk is Not Dead


America at The Crossroads: The GUITAR and A Changing Nation
Grind City Picks: The Music that Made Memphis

Memphis Museum of Science and History
3050 Central Ave.
Memphis, Tennessee 38111



Wednesday - Sunday
10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Purchase tickets online or in-person. An $18 museum exhibit ticket get you into the Guitar exhibits plus the additional displays in the museum.

Click here to buy your tickets now. Make sure to select the correct day you plan to go.

Be on the lookout for Beale Street Brewing's latest beer "No Strings Attached" -- a partnership beer with MoSH for the exhibit. It's a dry-hopped golden ale (so good!!).

negro terror display with shirt, guitar and hat
Negro Terror Display
special beer can for exhibit by beale street brewing
"No Strings Attached" by Beale Street Brewing

About the Author

Hello! I'm Jalyn Souchek, the Director of Content for I Love Memphis Blog! I love calling the 901 home. When I'm not running the blog you can find me cheering on the Grizzlies, at a concert, exploring a new restaurant or kicking back at one of our breweries. I hope you'll love experiencing Memphis with me.

Build your perfect Memphis meal:

I love to eat so if I were to have only one meal left.. I’m going all out. I’d start with an app of Gumbo Fries from Blue City Cafe or Bayou Fries from Chef Tam, wings from Good Fortune or Central’s (honey gold and Jamaican Jerk), potato salad from Fat Larry’s, side of bbq spaghetti from Bar-B-Q Shop, and fried okra from Soul Fish. All paired with a Beale Street Brewing Space Age Sippin’.

Your most memorable Memphis moment:

College GameDay on Beale Street. That was an electric and perfect morning. I was still working in news then and was able to take it in up close and on the stage at some points. The fun and joy of everyone down there that morning is unbeatable.

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