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Tell us about Chuck Berry's Guitar "Maybellene"

Dr. Kevin Strait

Museum historian Kevin Strait tells us about Chuck Berry's guitar "Mabellene," which he helped to collect. It can be found in the Musical Crossroads exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Collection Object: 
Electric guitar belonging to Chuck Berry, nicknamed "Maybellene"
Topic
African American
Musicians
Rock and roll (Music)
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Rights
1960 Gibson Guitar Corporation
Manufactured by
Gibson Guitar Corp., American, founded 1894
Owned by
Chuck Berry, American, 1926 - 2017
Subject of
Chess Records, American, founded 1950
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Donation of Charles E. Berry
Medium
wood and metal
Dimensions
41 x 17 x 4 in. (104.1 x 43.2 x 10.2 cm)
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Musical Instruments
Exhibition
Musical Crossroads
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 053
Date
1959
Description
A Gibson ES-350T semi-acoustic guitar named Maybellene. The wood is light, and the tuning keys are damaged. A black and orange label with the serial number (A33643) and where the guitar was made (Kalamazoo, MI) can be seen through one of the F-holes. The case is treated canvas on wood with velvet lining.
Type
guitars
Object number
2011.137.2