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Musical Instrument Museum
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Musical Instrument Museum

Collection/Program Scope and Focus

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches our world by collecting, preserving, and making accessible an astonishing variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. MIM offers guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming, and exceptional musical performances. MIM fosters appreciation of the world’s diverse cultures by showing how we innovate, adapt, and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.

Special Resources

In addition to instrument collections, the Musical Instrument Museum has a conservation lab, a media lab, and a theater with full studio recording capabilities.

Full-Time Staff

Manuel Jordán. PhD degree in art history, University of Iowa; primary curatorial responsibility: Deputy Director and Chief Curator; Curator for Africa.

Colin G. Pearson. MA degree in ethnomusicology, University of California, Riverside; primary curatorial responsibility: Curator for Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East.

Daniel C. Piper. PhD degree in ethnomusicology, Brown University; primary curatorial responsibility: Curator for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Richard D. Walter. PhD degree in ethnomusicology and folklore, Indiana University; primary curatorial responsibility: Curator for United States, Canada, and Europe.

David M. Wegehaupt. MA in music performance from Arizona State University; primary curatorial responsibility: Associate Curator for United States, Canada, and Europe. 

General Collection/Program Statement

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is a 200,000-square-foot building with two floors of spacious, light-filled galleries and a collection of nearly 13,600 instruments and associated objects. Built at a cost of $250 million, MIM creates an exciting musical experience for guests, immersing them in traditions from around the world. The museum’s galleries feature advanced wireless technology and high-resolution video screens, enabling guests to see instruments, hear their sounds, and observe them being played in their original settings—performances that are often as spectacular as the instruments. Select exhibits offer an insider’s view of how instruments work, the workshop displays detail the instrument-building process, and the Experience Gallery offers musical instruments that guests can touch and play.

The museum’s distinctive global collection comprises instruments, artifacts, costumes, and audio and video recordings. MIM’s curatorial staff has traveled extensively to collect objects that convey the diversity of global musical practices. Each instrument was selected for its fine construction, the reputation of its maker, its special provenance, or its connection to a famous performer.

MIM’s collection was assembled by a team of expert curators with the consultation of distinguished ethnomusicologists, organologists, and other field experts. The collection is highlighted in Geographic Galleries that focus on five global regions as well as in a special Artist Gallery that showcases noteworthy instruments played by many of the world’s leading musicians.

Spanning the two floors of the museum is the 300-seat MIM Music Theater. Designed with spacious seating and state-of-the-art acoustics, the intimate hall is a premier venue for performances, films, and seminars about musical traditions from around the world. Reflecting MIM’s mission to focus on the diversity of cultures and global musical practices, inaugural season performers hailed from Colombia, Sierra Leone, China, Brazil, Israel and the United States.

The Musical Instrument Museum opened its doors to the public in April 2010. Its curators will continue to collect, document, and contribute to the development of new designs for exhibits that represent a wide range of musical traditions from every corner of the globe.

Collection Program Website: www.mim.org


The content for Musical Instrument Museum was last updated January 9, 2019.

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