Dragons and Vines: Inlaid Guitar Masterpieces presents a collection of instruments featuring stunning inlay design created by the greatest contemporary North American inlay artists and luthiers. The exhibition is presented by MIM in partnership with the Maryland-based inlay company Pearl Works, with the majority of the pieces coming from the private collection of Larry Sifel (1948–2006), the company’s founder.
Each of the instruments vividly illustrates the transformation of bold imagination into reality, from snarling dragons to delicate floral patterns as well as re-creations of historic artwork and hot-rod automobiles. Some of the instruments go beyond sheer refinement of the artwork and actually tell the stories of the artists. All of the instruments displayed are of limited edition or one-of-a-kind creations, many of which have never before been on public display.
This special exhibition consists of guitars, banjos, and one ukulele, featuring inlaid artwork created from materials including abalone shell, mother-of-pearl, coral, gold, copper, wood, and others. These materials are manually fitted onto the instruments with diligent precision, transforming each one into a unique masterpiece.