Discover masterpieces from throughout the state

MIM recently updated its Arizona Instrument Makers display in the United States / Canada Gallery. When guests first enter the gallery from El Río, they will see the relocated display, which now features a wider spectrum of instrument makers from throughout Arizona, representing string instruments, drums, wind instruments, and more.

Contrasting old and new traditions, the Arizona Instrument Makers display includes Native American instruments, such as an Apache fiddle, and experimental innovations, such as the violira (bowed lute). Many of the instruments incorporate natural materials found in the Arizona landscape and decorations emblematic of the Southwest.

Next to the Arizona Instrument Makers display, guests can see a beautiful jumbo acoustic guitar generously donated by local luthier Jason Kostal. The guitar features spectacular “tonewoods” and numerous signature artistic details. A frequent visitor to MIM, Kostal has earned an international reputation for his handcrafted guitars, with new customers waiting many years to obtain a treasure from his shop in Queen Creek, Arizona.

“Arizona is home to many talented instrument makers, and the new display better reflects the state’s special combination of preserved native traditions with more contemporary, individual expressions,” says Richard Walter, PhD, MIM’s curator for United States / Canada and Europe. “The instruments, themselves, help illustrate the identities of Arizona’s people.”