Many people don’t realize that Henry Ford had a special fondness for musical instruments, especially violins.
Although he never learned to play it as well as he would have liked, Ford acquired a number of beautiful instruments over the years, including a 1709 Stradivari (or “Strad,” as it is often affectionately called) and this fantastic Strad, “The Siberian” - so named because it was once owned by a Russian amateur violinist who lived in Ekaterinberg, Siberia during the late 19th century. (You can learn more about Henry Ford’s musical interest and influence here, along with information about another Stradivarius violin from our collection, “The Rougemont,” built in 1703.)
Now, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about this incredible instrument during two special events – including a very special performance of the 300-year-old violin by a true violin virtuoso.
On Thursday, April 26, our curator of domestic life, Jeanine Head Miller, and our senior conservator Mary Fahey will speak at the Ypsilanti District Library at 7 p.m. about Henry Ford’s love of the violin – and the fiddling craze he sparked during the 1920s – plus some recent mysteries we uncovered during a scan of the violin late last year.
And on Sunday, April 29 at 3:30 p.m., Sphinx Organization Laureate Gareth Johnson will perform on this magnificent instrument with the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra at Eastern Michigan University’s Pease Auditorium; tickets are limited but still available. (You can also read a great article here about Mr. Johnson and this performance.)
We hope you can join us for either, or both, of these exciting events!