I first visited MIM, I was excited by its inimitable beauty and scale.
It has been a wondrous blessing to work with the staff there and help
bring about the Carter Family / Johnny Cash display,” said John Carter
Cash. “I feel it is inspired and shows a unique view into the history of
country music that cannot be seen anywhere else.”
music of the Carters (A.P., Sara and Maybelle Carter) has been
celebrated for nearly a century. The trio, which recorded more than 250
songs, is widely recognized for helping launch country music’s
commercial beginnings and for inspiring many artists in later genres
including bluegrass and rock.
Cash, who came to be known as the “Man in Black,” bucked music industry
norms, singing of America’s marginalized populations and famously
making two live albums in prisons with inmate audiences. Despite
struggles with drug addiction, he went on to achieve superstardom,
selling more than 50 million albums and winning new audiences into the
Items on display in the Carter Family and Johnny Cash exhibits include:
A.P. Carter’s 1929 Martin 00-28 guitar, played by the original Carter Family
June Carter Cash’s custom Orthey autoharp and fingerpicks
Johnny Cash’s black Manuel Cuevas stage suit which was worn in concert and features embroidered acorns and oak leaves
Johnny Cash’s black Martin D-42JC signature guitar which was played in concert and on several of his “American” album
Cash’s 1936 Martin 5-18 guitar which was played by Cash, family and
friends in Cash’s home and inlaid in the early 1970s with acorns and oak
Johnny Cash’s 2002 Grammy award for “Give My Love to Rose,” Best Male Country Vocal Performance
The exhibits also feature photographs from the Grand Ole Opry Archives and performance footage from several sources.
would be difficult to overstate the significance of these artists in
American music,” said MIM curator for North America, Dr. Cullen Strawn.
“It’s an honor to share their objects, songs and stories with our
Carter Family and Johnny Cash exhibits join the ranks of other country
music-focused exhibits at MIM. MIM’s Artist Galley features instruments
played by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Toby Keith, Taylor Swift and the
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In MIM’s United States/Canada Gallery, the
Country exhibit displays items belonging to Marty Robbins, Buck Owens,
Kix Brooks and others.
Entrance to MIM’s Artist Gallery is included with general museum admission.
Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in
Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101).
For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit
MIM.org or call 480.478.6000.