From courtly musicians serenading sixteenth-century royalty to rock bands blasting megawatts in packed stadiums, the guitar has been an enduring musical icon for over four centuries. To a far greater degree than any other instrument, it has been interpreted with extraordinary variety of form and decoration, always reflecting the aesthetics of the time. This is as true for ornate guitars of the Baroque era, inlaid with ivory and pearl, as it is for 20th-century electric instruments painted metallic blue. Dangerous Curves: Art of the Guitar celebrates this diversity, displaying how changes in fashion, technology, and musical tastes have influenced the look of the world’s most popular instrument. Included in the exhibition are 63 outstanding guitars drawn from the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, along with selected instruments owned privately. Audio samples are available for many of the instruments. This show is derived from one of the MFA’s most popular exhibitions (of the same name), mounted in 2000.

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