Congress to buy 263 violins from Bob Dylan sidekick

The Library of Congress has announced plans to raise $1.5 million to acquire the David Bromberg collection of US-made violins.

Bromberg, a guitarist who once worked by Bob Dylan and George Harrison, developed a hobby on the road of buying pedigree American violins in antique and junk stores. He knew what to buy because he had acquired training as a young man in the craft of violin making.

The Library of Congress will utilise his collection as the basis for a new centre for the study of the American violin.

bromberg violins

photo: Jon Kalish/NPR

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  • “… a new centre for the study of the American violin…”

    This seems like mission creep for the LOC.

      • I would associate such collections of personal items as being more aligned with the mission of the Smithsonian than the Library of Congress which itself states that, “The Library serves as the research arm of Congress and is recognized as the national library of the United States.”

    • Who cares. In either place they are likely to be stored safely pretty much forever, and kept together as a collection.

  • In 1935 the DC music scene was different when Gertrude Whittall gave the library the Strad instruments. Sort of the official beginning of a chamber scene. Interesting to note the NSO was 4 years old at that time – earning something like $40 a week. Anyway this acquisition (which does require raising of private funds) isn’t far from Whittall’s vision. Just hope they can find room for all those instruments (preferably in the pavilion) where the public and performers can see them and have access.

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