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Where Are the Female Musicians? Met Called Out for Male-Heavy Rock and Roll Show

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition of iconic rock instruments has been criticized for only including one woman

St Vincent, 2018. Courtesy: Getty Images; photograph: Gary Miller

St Vincent, 2018. Courtesy: Getty Images; photograph: Gary Miller

St Vincent, 2018. Courtesy: Getty Images; photograph: Gary Miller

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s forthcoming rock and roll exhibition, ‘Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll’, has come under criticism over an alleged lack of female artists. Although the full artist list has not yet been announced, musician Neko Case criticized the exhibition on Twitter for its apparent male-heavy basis. The only woman named among the show’s included artists so far is St. Vincent.

The Met show, due to open in April 2019, is the first major museum exhibition of rock & roll instruments, featuring synths, guitars and drums used by artists such as the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix. The collection of more than 130 instruments will show highlights including Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ Stratocaster, Eddie van Halen’s ‘Frankenstein’ guitar and Jimmy Page’s dragon-embroidered suit.

Neko Case called out the show’s apparent underrepresentation of female musicians. She wrote on Twitter: ‘Seriously, @metmuseum, why only one woman in this exhibit? Who curated this? Do you really think NO OTHER WOMEN, OR FEMALE IDENTIFYING performers contributed to rock n’ roll?’

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