This is a non-exhaustive list of ‘famous’ violins in museums around the world. These can be also found in a interactive Google map here.
Please feel free to send me updates and corrections to Stephen.Churchill@gmail.com. As well I’d be happy to host relevant images of displays.
A word on general resources available on the internet. Two very useful sites for researching museums are:
- CIMCIM International Directory of Musical Instrument Collections
- MIMI Musical Instrument Museums Online
Click the link below for information on the size of the collection and any particularly interesting instruments.
Ratings:***** – Must see! Multiple famous violins, usually with a large collection. **** – Very interesting, some famous violins, typically with a moderately sized collection. *** – Interesting, some historically significant instruments or a large collection ** – Less interesting, often region specific * – Limited interest, small collection of stringed instruments (dozens), no specifically ‘famous’ instruments.
- Library of Congress, Washington, DC *****
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY *****
- Museum of Fine Art, Boston **
- Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, AZ **
- National Music Museum, The University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota *****
- The Palace of The Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA *
- Smithsonian Institution (American History Museum), Washington, DC (Currently has a limited display)
- Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments, New Haven, Connecticut ****
- Kunsthistorisches (Art History) Museum, Vienna **
- The Orpheon Foundation, Museum of Historical Musical Instruments, Vienna *****
- Cité de la musique – Musée de la musique, Paris *****
- Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse, Lille *
- Musée de la Lutherie et de l’Archeterie (Museum of violin and bow making), Mirecourt ***
- Musée du Palais Lascaris, Nice ***
- Beethoven-Haus, Bonn ***
- The Füssen Heritage Museum, Füssen ***
- Das Geigenbaumuseum (Violin Making Museum), Mittenwald **
- Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg ***
- Museum für Musikinstrumente der Universität, Leipzig **
- Musikinstrumenten-Museum, Markneukirchen **
- Musikinstrumenten Museum (Berlin Musical Instrument Museum), Berlin *****
- Castello Sforzesco, Milan ***
- Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi, Milan ***
- Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majella, Naples *
- Fondazione Antonio Carlo Monzino, Milan ** (may not be active)
- Galleria dell’Accademia – Collezione del Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini, Florence ****
- Musei di Strada Nuova, Genova ****
- Museo degli Strumenti Musicali, Rome *
- Museo del Violino (The Violin Museum), Cremona *****
- Museo della Musica, Venice ***
- Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali di Roma, Rome ****
- Vazquez Collection of Historical Musical Instruments, Duino *****
- Scenkonst Museet, Swedish Museum of Performing Arts, Stockholm (Closed for renovation, reopening in 2016)
- Ashmolean Museum, Oxford *****
- Oxford University’s Faculty of Music, Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, Oxford ***
- Royal Academy’s York Gate Collection, London *****
- Royal Northern College of Music Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, Manchester ****
- Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle ****
- University of Edinburgh (Reid Museum of Musical Instruments), Edinburgh ***
- Chi Mei Museum, Tainan City (Temporarily closed as of 2013)
Added the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Conservatorio “Giuseppe Verdi” di Milano, and the Escola de Música do Conservatório Nacional, Lisbon, thanks to Omobono!
The MET entry has been updated with pictures take by BassClef on a recent visit. Thanks BassClef!
The Isaac Fernández Blanco Museum of Spanish–American Art in Buenos Aires, Argentina has been added, thanks Omobono!