From this autumn, visitors to Cremona’s Museo del Violino will have a rare chance to see an array of instruments from the collection of the National Music Museum (NMM) in Vermillion, South Dakota, US. Taken mostly from the Witten-Rawlins collection, one of the most prestigious collections of instruments in America, the exhibits were all made in Cremona during the 17th and 18th centuries. The exhibition will be titled ‘Reunion in Cremona’.
Among the treasures to be included in the display will be the 1700 ‘Rawlins’ guitar and 1680 ‘Cutler-Challen’ mandolin, both by Antonio Stradivari; a 1628 violin by Nicolò Amati; the Brothers Amati ‘King Henry IV’ violin of c.1595; a 1609 violin and 1613 violino piccolo, both by Girolamo Amati; a 1781 viola by Nicola Bergonzi; a Storioni half-size violin of 1793; and the ‘King Charles IV’ violin bow of c.1700, attributed to the Stradivari workshop and featured in The Strad’s April 2014 issue.
The ‘Reunion in Cremona’ exhibit will remain at the Museo del Violino from 21 September 2019 to 18 October 2020.
The exhibition is taking place during a period of closure for the NMM. The museum is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation and expansion programme, due for completion by 2021. Plans include an additional 4,600 sq ft of exhibition space, a gallery for temporary exhibits, a performance hall, classroom, conservation lab, photography lab and offices. A total of 16,000 sq ft will be added, comprising two floors plus an underground level. More than 4,000 instruments have been put into storage for the duration of the renovation work.