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Maton: Australia's Guitar

This free exhibition explores the history of a famed Australian guitar manufacturer, with more than 130 guitars on display.
By Sarah Ward
June 07, 2020
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Maton: Australia's Guitar

This free exhibition explores the history of a famed Australian guitar manufacturer, with more than 130 guitars on display.
By Sarah Ward
June 07, 2020
  shares

A crucial chapter of Australia's music history is coming to the Powerhouse Museum, with the Ultimo site hosting a three-month-long exhibition dedicated to Maton Guitars. Even if you don't immediately know the name, you've likely seen someone play one of the Aussie company's instruments — with everyone from Archie Roach, Missy Higgins, Keith Urban, Daniel Johns and The Easybeats to Elvis Presley, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, George Harrison and Billie Joe Armstrong strumming their strings over the years.

That's what Maton: Australia's Guitar will celebrate, showcasing the guitar manufacturer's hefty and important history. Since being founded back in 1946 by Melbourne-born jazz musician, woodwork teacher and luthier Bill May — who set up the company in a small workshop in his garage — it has created over 200 guitar models. And, it was also the first manufacturer to use Aussie wood species in guitars on a sizeable scale, making its instruments out of Queensland maple, bunya and Victorian blackwood.

Zan Wimberley

More than 130 guitars will be on display at Powerhouse, including custom-made models made for famous Aussie music figures such as Tommy Emmanuel and Johnny Diesel — plus ukuleles, lap steels and amplifiers, too.

Maton: Australia's Guitar will run from Saturday, July 25–Sunday, October 11, and will be free to attend, with bookings required. It'll also mark Powerhouse Museum's first major new exhibition since it reopened on June 1.

Top image: Zan Wimberley

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