Springfield Museums Events October
Museums à la Carte Lecture
October 17th, 12:15 pmGeneral Museum Event
Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s “Banner” Guitars of WWII
John Thomas, author and professor
Five years ago John Thomas stumbled across a 1944 photograph of some 70 women standing in front of Gibson’s guitar factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In WWII-era advertisements and a 1970s corporate history Gibson had denied building guitars during the war.John tracked down and interviewed in person a dozen women in that photograph and wrote a book around them, “Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s ‘Banner’ Guitars of WWII” (American History Press, 2013). In his talk, John will recount his detective work that located the women and uncovered records revealing that they built 24,000 instruments, paint a picture of Middle America during wartime, and talk about why the guitars these women built represent the pinnacle of Gibson’s craft. He might even play a tune or two on a WWII-era Gibson guitar.
$2 members; $4 nonmembers
Davis Auditorium, Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.
The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program; cookies and beverage are provided.
Sponsored by Big Y
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