Fender Guitars sponsor World’s first Global Musical Instrument Museum
Former chairman of Target stores Bob Ulrich founded the World’s first global Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix this year, costing a slight $250 million. The saxy museum features more than 12,000 instruments including two guitars on loan from Eric Clapton: the Fender Stratocaster “Brownie” that Clapton used for “Layla” and “Bell Bottom Blues” and a Gibson he used when playing with the band Cream.
While music instrument museums exist, there do not exist any that compete with this one in terms of scale. The MIM covers the world in music. The museum is two floors of 190,000 square-feet which takes up approximately 20 acres of Tatum Boulevard.
Not entirely funded by Ulrich, Fender Guitars are a corporate sponsor of the MIM which bears its own Fender display, showcasing the evolution of the guitar marque. Along with the famous guitars are a set of drums from the Black Eyed Peas and guitars from George Benson. The actual Steinway on which John Lennon wrote “Imagine” is also in the museum. These instruments are featured under special exhibits.
The grandeur of the museum is evident in its open volume entrance and grand staircase with windows that resemble piano keys at night. The MIM also features an auditorium for guest concerts to liven up the already over 280 exhibits from countries around the world.