On October 7, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City accepted a PRS guitar into its permanent collection.
The presentation, a gift from Warren and Kateryna Esanu, included a public performance and guitar demo by PRS artist John McLaughlin.
This custom-made PRS guitar was built by the PRS Private Stock luthiers using American curly maple for the neck, ebony for the fretboard and headstock veneer, European red curly maple for the top, African ribbon mahogany for the back and red heart abalone side body purfling.
The specially designed “Museum Bird” inlays were cut from mammoth ivory, which is found regularly in arctic ice. The neck carve, 25-inch scale length, PRS narrow “408” pickups, electronics, knobs and PRS-designed stoptail bridge with brass inserts are all standard appointments for PRS. The guitar features a specially designed light tiger eye micro burst finish with natural binding.
“I like to see instruments played instead of on display behind a glass box so ... I am going to have to come back every year to play this fabulous instrument,” McLaughlin told the crowd.
During a private reception following the public presentation, PRS artist Ricky Skaggs surprised the Met’s Musical Instrument Department by presenting the Met with a PRS 2014 Collection acoustic steel string guitar and a PRS 2014 Collection acoustic classical nylon-string guitar to round out its PRS guitar collection.
“These beautiful instruments are among the best sounding guitars that I have ever played and they truly are (works of) modern art,” Skaggs said.
The 2014 Collection Angelus Cutaway steel string acoustic guitar features a European Bear Claw spruce top, proprietary fan bracing, Paua heart purfling, and Brazilian rosewood back and sides with curly maple binding. The 21 fret, 25 ¼” scale length Peruvian mahogany PRS wide neck has an ebony fingerboard with Paua heart, 14K gold and mammoth ivory Celtic knot inlays.
The 2014 Collection Classical Nylon String guitar is constructed from European spruce top, Brazilian rosewood back and sides with maple purfling and Brazilian rosewood binding. The mahogany classical neck features a 19-fret ebony fingerboard with Brazilian rosewood binding and a striking spalted maple and Paua heart rosette.
Reception attendees were treated to a demonstration of the Collection classical guitar and a performance on the Collection steel string guitar by Scottish Celtic guitarist and PRS artist Tony McManus. Then Skaggs performed using the Collection steel string guitar.
Visitors will have the opportunity to see this significant acquisition slated to be on permanent public display in The André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Here are the specs for the three Met guitars:
Custom made Electric Guitar presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
• McCarty Style Body
• European Curly Red Maple Top with Red Heart Abalone Purfling
• African Ribbon Mahogany Back
• 25” scale, 22 fret American Curly Maple Neck with Ebony Fingerboard with Paua Heart Abalone Purfling
• Mammoth Ivory Museum Bird inlays
• PRS designed 408 humbucking pickups, volume and tone control with 3-way toggle
• PRS Phase III Locking tuning pegs with Ivoroid tuning buttons
• Bone nut and PRS Designed Stoptail with Brass inserts
• Light Tiger Eye Micro Burst finish with Natural binding
2014 Collection Angelus
• 15 ½” Angelus Cutaway Body
• Proprietary PRS Hybrid X Bracing
• European Bear Claw Spruce Top with Paua Heart Purfling and Curly Maple Binding
• Ebony/Select Green Abalone/Paua Heart/14K Gold Rosette
• Brazilian Rosewood Back and Sides with Paua Heart Purfling
• 21 Fret, 25 ¼” Scale Length Peruvian Mahogany PRS Wide Neck (1.75” at the nut)
• Ebony Fingerboard with Paua Heart/14K Gold/Mammoth Ivory Celtic Knot Inlays and Paua Heart Purfling
• Ebony Headstock Veneer Hand-Signed by Paul Reed Smith with Mammoth Ivory “Collection” Inlay and Paua Heart Purfling
• Ebony Bridge and Bridge Pins with Mammoth Ivory Inlays
• Gotoh-Robson Tuning Machines
• Bone Nut and Saddle
• Proprietary PRS Acoustic Pickup System
2014 Collection Classical
• “Torres” style bracing
• 14 7/16” Classical body
• European Spruce Top with Maple/Black Purfling and Brazilian Rosewood Binding
• Spalted Maple/Black/Maple/Black/Paua Heart Rosette
• Brazilian Rosewood Back and Sides with Maple Purfling
• Mahogany Classical Neck
• 19 fret Ebony Fingerboard with Brazilian Rosewood Binding
• Brazilian Rosewood/Maple/Brazilian Rosewood Headstock Veneer
• Brazilian Rosewood Bridge
• Bone Nut and Saddle
• Robson Tuning Machines