Virginia has produced some of the best music talent in the world. We honor these artists as we display their music, history, and personal items. See list at the bottom of this page.
The piano gallery displays keyboard instruments dating from 1760, showing the development of the piano. Our 1790 Joshua Shudi harpsichord is one of two known to exist today.
You will enjoy Laughing Sal and a Wurlitzer band organ along with many other items from amusement parks.
Watch our Violano Virtuoso play a violin automatically or our KT special play eight instruments together. Our rarest music box came from the founder of the first Smithfield Ham Company.
Follow the history of recorded music from Edison's tin foil machine to his very best opera phonograph. The first talking doll and a phonograph lamp are some of our antique phonograph items.
VIRGINIA'S FAMOUS ARTISTS
The Statler Brothers
The Carter Family
Bill Jenkins Pharrell Williams Jimmy Fortune
Jim & Jesse
Ricky Van Shelton
In our organ section, we have a sample of the following organs: a Reed organ, glass organ, monkey organ, Hammond organ and a self playing pipe organ once used in Norfolk, Virginia.
Virginians played a big part in the development of music. Polk Miller recorded some of Edison's first records. The first record to sell over a million copies (The Wreck of the Old 97) was written by a Virginian, Henry Whitter. Black Pattie from Suffolk, Virginia was the first African American to sing in Carnegie Hall. The Carter Family pioneered country music recordings. Jazz critics agree that Ella Fitzgerald was the best vocal improviser to ever live. Patsy Cline was the first female solo artist inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Join us to see and learn more about our Virginians.