15 Museums You Have to See to Believe

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An early-era banjo. Photo by Brent Fuchs.
An early-era banjo. Photo by Brent Fuchs.

American Banjo Museum

Oklahoma City
Founded: 1998
Many associate the banjo with recent waves of folk and bluegrass music, but the roots of this musical instrument go far beyond Flatts and Scruggs, Ralph Stanley and “Dueling Banjos.” As the American Banjo Museum exhibits, primitive versions of the instrument were developed by African slaves and used in the Minstrel age in the mid-19th century; the museum has artifacts representing these eras, as well as the modern-day banjo, as part of its collection. The museum has more than 400 banjos, the largest collection of the instrument on display in the world. Located in Bricktown, it also houses the American Banjo Hall of Fame. Famed actor, comedian and banjo player Steve Martin and the late folk icon Pete Seeger will be part of the Class of 2015 inducted into the Hall of Fame in September.