Missouri musicians and artists were practicing their own version of Behind the Music long before VH1 ever made it a franchise. The traditional art of luthiery — the craft and restoration of stringed instruments — is the painstaking engine that powers music’s most glamorous audible machines.You can see the manufacture behind the music at Work Is Art and Art Is Work: The Art of Hand-Crafted Instruments, a display of 24 photographs and six instruments created by Missouri luthiers, in the Guldner Gallery at the Central Library (14 West 10th Street). For a state with such a rich history of musical traditions — most notably blues in the east, jazz in the west and bluegrass in the south — that integral first step of instrument creation is frequently and unjustly overlooked. Gain a new perspective on the history of Show-Me State music with this display of instruments and images, which runs through January 20.
Dec. 15-Jan. 20, 2007