Volume 37, Number 1, March 2010

Margaret Downie Banks, Editor

NMM Newsletter (PDF version)

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   News and Notes

Governor Rounds holds Ibanez guitar

Governor Rounds Donates Guitar 

South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds presented a commemorative electric guitar to the NMM on Friday, March 19, at a short ceremony attended by representatives of USD, the NMM Board of Trustees, and the NMM staff.   [more]

Arian Sheets

Curator of Stringed Instruments Travels to California 

Arian Sheets, Curator of Stringed Instruments, attended both the California World Guitar Show in Costa Mesa and the NAMM Trade Show in Anaheim in mid-January.   [more]

Ken Drobnak

Ken Drobnak Speaks at Octubafest 

Ken Drobnak, Curatorial Assistant, presented a seminar, "Experimental Tubas by Frank Holton & Company from the Holton Factory Reference Collection," at Wayne State College's fall "Octubafest."   [more]

Jonathan Bouquet

Jonathan Bouquet Produces Technical Drawings 

Jonathan Santa Maria Bouquet, an Advanced Conservation Intern at the NMM, recently completed a technical drawing of the NMM's violin by Jacob Stainer, Absam bei Innsbruck, 1668.   [more]

Maria Kurmanowytsch

Maria Kurmanowytsch Begins Conservation Internship 

Maria Kurmanowytsch, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, arrived in Vermillion in February to begin a six-month Advanced Conservation Internship at the NMM.   [more]

Gary M. Stewart

In Memoriam: Gary M. Stewart (1953-2009) 

Gary M. Stewart, the NMM's first Conservator, died at his home in Statesville, North Carolina, in September 2009. He held the joint positions of Conservator and Associate Professor of Museum Science at the NMM for thirteen years (1977-1990) before moving on to work at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.   [more]


   Curatorial Commentary

Evette model clarinet

"Evette's Story"
by Deborah Check Reeves, Curator of Education & Woodwind Instruments

The life history of a French clarinet is documented from the clarinet's own point-of-view! [more]

NMM 14392.  Drum by M. W. Stevens, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

"A Father and Son Drum-Making Tradition"
by Sarah Richardson, Curator of Musical Instruments 

A snare drum with long ties to the family of Carl Meyer, Benton Harbor, Michigan, was donated to the NMM in May 2009, along with a separate, torn maker's label bearing the name, M. W. Stevens of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Proceeding under the assumption that the maker's label was original to this drum, an investigation was begun into the identity of the maker. [more]

Photograph of Perry George Lowery

"Historic Images Find a Home at the NMM"
by Sarah Richardson, Curator of Musical Instruments 

A significant collection of historic photographs have found a new home at the NMM. The collection, part of the Frank Holton & Co. Archive donated to the NMM by Conn-Selmer, Inc. (Elkhart, Indiana) in 2008, contains hundreds of photographs of American bands, bandsmen, and soloists from the 1880s to the mid-20th century; images of the Holton factory and its employees; as well as images of Holton instruments used in mailings and catalogs. [more]

NMM 13945. Experimental contrabass bugle by Holton, Elkhorn, 1962

"Holton's Regulation and Legionnaire Bugles"
by Ken Drobnak, Curatorial Assistant 

Frank Holton & Co. began the manufacture of both brass and silver-plated bugles, approved by the United States Army for military use, during the second decade of the twentieth century. After World War I, decommissioned buglers returned to the U.S. with the desire to continue playing their instruments. As a result, the American Legion, V.F.W. and Boy Scouts formed local drum and bugle corps. Competitions were soon organized and sponsored by these groups, which also determined the types of instruments that would be allowed for use in such events. [more]

NMM 13976. Circular cornet by Allen & Hall, Boston, 1861-1863

"Joseph C. Green's Cornet"
by Margaret Downie Banks, Senior Curator of Musical Instruments 

One of the many historic treasures preserved in the Holton factory collection at the NMM is a circular cornet made by Allen & Hall, Boston, between 1861-1863. The cornet was originally made for Joseph C. Green I, whose name is engraved on the bell, above the maker's plaque. [more]

NMM 13175.  Baritone oboe by Charles Bizey, ca. 1735

"The Mysterious Baritone Oboe"
by Deborah Check Reeves, Curator of Education & Woodwind Instruments 

An air of mystery surrounds a baritone oboe in the NMM's collections. It was made in the first half of the eighteenth century by the Parisian maker, Charles Bizey, who was one of the few makers who dominated the centralized oboe trade in France at the time. Bizey supplied oboes to the opera, theater, and the military. In addition to regular treble oboes, Bizey made a variety of other sizes including tenor oboes, oboes da caccia, and baritone oboes. [more]

Ryan Murfield

"The Sound of Digital Preservation"
by Ryan Murfield, Student Curatorial Assistant 

Aside from the vast body of treasured instruments belonging to the NMM, there is alo an enormous body of musical recordings parallel in diversity and intrigue. During the past couple of years increasing efforts have been made to convert all types of media in the NMM's collection to a digital format, not only to enhance the multimedia experience at the NMM, but also to preserve and add to the available research resources. [more]

NMM 7060.  Keyed bugle by E. G. Wright, Boston, ca. 1858-1860

"Unraveling the Secrets of a Keyed Bugle by E. G. Wright"
by Sabine K. Klaus, Joe & Joella Utley Curator of Brass Instruments 

Some instruments conceal the secret of their story for a long time, some forever, despite the best research efforts of the curators who are responsible for them. A beautiful silver bugle with eleven keys in high E-flat in the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, though, has now given up its secrets. [more]

NMM 14243.  Cornet by F. E. Olds & Son, Los Angeles, 1932

"Spotlight on Donors:  The Arnold Ruskin Collection"

The Arnold Ruskin Collection, consisting of 153 trumpets, cornets, and flugelhorns assembled to document the model produced by F. E. Olds of Los Angeles and Fullerton, California, was donated to the NMM in the fall of 2008 by the collector's widow, Nancy, of La Cañada, California. [more]

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