Our media relations team can respond quickly to your requests. Please contact director of marketing and communications, Bert Beiswanger via email at or call 317.275.1317, public relations manager, Bryan Corbin via email at or call 317.275.1315 or communications coordinator, Hyacinth Rucker via email at or call 317.275.1388.


by Guest User | Apr 01, 2013

Guitars! exhibit will showcase instruments played by African-American guitar legends

Indianapolis, IN – Guitars played by two African-American men, whose talent made a revolutionary impact on the way we hear music, will be displayed during the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art’s Guitars! Roundups to Rockers exhibit. The show runs March 9 – August 4, 2013.

Among the more than 100 guitars on exhibit are instruments played by legendary guitar god Jimi Hendrix and Charlie Christian, who was the first to make the guitar a lead band instrument.  

Jimi Hendrix - Gibson Les Paul custom guitar and remains of a Sunburst Fender Stratocaster

Hendrix is arguably the most influential electric guitarist in the world. But before he rose to greatness, he was asked by some Seattle band leaders to leave the stage. Many audiences were turned off by his playing style. Despite early setbacks, Hendrix persevered to become one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time.  He died in 1970.

 Charlie Christian - Gibson ES-250 guitar, played with Benny Goodman

Christian is credited with being the first performer to make the guitar a lead band instrument. He took the world by storm when he joined Benny Goodman’s combo in 1939.  He was brought down by tuberculosis three years later.  His influences in many genres last even to today.  Among those he inspired are Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Chuck Berry and Jerry Garcia. 

 Both Hendrix and Christian died in their 20s. But their contributions to the music world live on. See their instruments, learn their stories, hear their gifts at the Eiteljorg!

 Other guitar greats, honored in our gallery, include Roy Rogers, Kurt Cobain, Woody Guthrie, George Harrison, Buddy Holly, Lowell Fulson, Les Paul and many more.  Guitars!, presented by Eli Lilly and Company, will also include interactive content, guitar playing lessons and performances by local and national recording artists. 

For more information about Guitars!, or to book an interview/media tour please contact public relations manager DeShong Perry, and (317) 275-1352.

The Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. Through its Project New Moon campaign, the museum is attracting new audiences with dynamic new interpretations of its mission. The museum is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call (317) 636-WEST (9378) or visit


Find us on FacebookWatch our videos on YouTubeFollow us on InstagramFollow us on PinterestFind us on YelpShare
© Eiteljorg Museum. All rights reserved.