Electric guitar (Dan Armstrong model)

1969–70
Ampeg Company (American)


Object Place: Linden, New Jersey, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 97.2 x 33 x 3.2cm (38 1/4 x 13 x 1 1/4in.)

Accession Number

2009.2416

Medium or Technique

Plastic, maple, rosewood, ivory, steel, aluminum, nickel silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

Classifications

Chordophones

By the 1960s, industrial designers had begun to incorporate acrylic plastics into the production of not only furniture, but also mechanical objects. The material’s transparent quality shed light on previously unseen inner workings, allowing them to be perceived as part of the overall aesthetic. Guitar designer Dan Armstrong may have conceived this clear acrylic guitar as a way of emphasizing the inconsequential nature of an electric guitar’s body, as it has very little acoustical affect on the instrument’s sound quality. The maple neck and rosewood fingerboard would have made the instrument feel more natural to players, but they also provide an attractive visual contrast to the see-through body.

Provenance

By 1990, Gruhn Guitars, Nashville, Tennessee; May 1, 1990, sold by Gruhn Guitars to Michael Wright, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2009, sold by Wright to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by The Kittredge Foundation, Michael and Lisa Kittredge, Trustees, 2009