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An Exhibit With Lots of Strings Attached

November 05, 2000|TIMES STAFF AND WIRES

It's not often you'll find the work of Antonio Stradivari, the renowned Italian violin maker, and "flower-power" rocker Jimi Hendrix in the same place. But both are represented in "Dangerous Curves: Art of the Guitar," opening today at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.

Billed as the first comprehensive look at the guitar as an objet d'art, the exhibit displays about 130 instruments from the 16th century to the present, with loans from the Musee de la Musique in Paris and the University of Edinburgh, among other places. Highlights include one of only two known guitars by Stradivari (1644-1737); Hendrix's Gibson Flying V (1967), with his own psychedelic decorations; and a bizarre dual guitar (circa 1920) fashioned by Chicago's Harmony Co.

Walking through door frames inspired by guitars, visitors navigate galleries organized chronologically. A free audio guide is narrated by musician and composer James Taylor. The tour ends with a 15-minute video of performers ranging from Buddy Holly to B.B. King. Adult admission is $16 weekdays, $18 weekends. The exhibit ends Feb. 25. Advance purchase of timed tickets is recommended. Telephone (617) 542-4MFA, Internet http://www.mfa.org.

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