AMICA Exhibition

Tuesday April 15 – Saturday May 10 free, all ages

Gallery hours: 12noon-5pm
Reception: Sunday April 27, 1-5pm


119 Gallery showcases a selection of instruments from the collection of AMICA, Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association, Boston Chapter. Hand-cranked music boxes and organs dating from the mid-1800s. On Sunday April 27, there will be a guided tour and demonstrations, conducted by restorers Chris Christiansen, Tom Ahearn, and Chapter President Kirk Russell.

amica200 years before the iPod, music boxes and organs brought reproducible entertainment to the privacy of one’s home. Popular tunes were distributed on paper rolls, discs of metal or paper, or rollers with wire pins that plucked tuned combs or opened air valves to create a tone. From tiny wind-up music boxes to massive pipe organs, mechanical instruments come to life when their knobs, cranks, and bellows set them in motion. These curious objects have a history fraught with patent infringements, curious advertising, and brilliant experiments in development and production.

Visitors will see an 1880s Gem Roller Organ; a Mechanical Orguinette Co. direct action music box; a 10 song cylinder box; a player piano; bellows materials, reeds, valves, and children’s toys.

Curated by Dei Xhrist.

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