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Museum Unveils Historic Les Paul Exhibit

My post on the Les Paul stamp received a lot of positive comments. Here's some information about a new Les Paul exhibit in Wisconsin. Check out some photos below!

Waukesha, Wis. June 5, 2013 – Les Paul’s vision for a true-to-life exhibit located in his hometown of Waukesha, Wis., will become a reality on Sunday, June 9. The Waukesha County Museum (WCM) is unveiling its first ever, permanent exhibit – Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha – revealing the personality, character and creativity of the legendary musician.

Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha goes beyond traditional exhibits by connecting guests of all ages with his life story, including one of the biggest influences on his career – his hometown,” said Kirsten Lee Villegas, president and CEO, Waukesha County Museum. “It’s like nothing else ever created to honor him because it focuses on who Les was, and how he thought, inspiring people to pursue their dreams.”

Erol ReyalThe 2,000-square-foot exhibit takes guests on an experiential journey through Les Paul’s life, featuring eight chapters presented in the inventor’s own words. A special section is dedicated to both his mother and his wife, Mary Ford, two women who profoundly influenced him. Interactive elements are woven throughout, including a Dream Wall, sponsored by American Family Insurance, that encourages guests to share their dreams with the world, as Les Paul did.

One-of-a-kind artifacts and memorabilia, including rare guitars, Les Paul’s personal belongings and original inventions are also on display. Several valuable artifacts on loan from The Les Paul Foundation will also be in the Treasures Gallery section of the exhibit. All of these artifacts make The Wizard of Waukesha the most comprehensive exhibit of Les Paul’s life in the country.

The inspirational and authentic nature of the exhibit resulted in tremendous support from across the state of Wisconsin (in addition to those listed above), including Presenting Sponsor, Anthony and Andrea Bryant. Visionary level sponsors include Briggs & Stratton Corporation Foundation, Inc., The Les Paul Foundation, and Waukesha Gibson Guitar Town.

Innovators level sponsors include GMR Marketing, Jim Lindenberg & Family, the David & Julia Uihlein Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, ProHealth Care, Town Bank, Hal Leonard, and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Other companies and individuals are represented at many other levels.

“At one point the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., attempted to work with Les Paul to create an exhibit, but Les always wanted his legacy to be preserved and his story told in Waukesha,” said Villegas. “The extraordinary feedback and support from our sponsors helped make that dream a reality.”

Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha exhibit opens to the public, Sun., June 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Waukesha County Museum. In addition to the exhibit, families can participate in activities, including an instrument petting zoo, sponsored by the White House of Music, a sound experiment lab, and the opportunity to sign Les Paul’s 98th birthday card. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and the museum store will have many original Les Paul items for sale.

Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (62 years and older), $5 for college students with ID and teens ages 13 to 17 years, $4 for children ages six to 12 years, and free for children ages five and under. Admission is free for WCM members. 

For more information, or to purchase tickets to the exhibit, visit

 Erol Reyal

Reader Comments (2)

WOW! Now there are 2 reasons to go to Wisconsin! Cheddar Cheese and now, this museum.

I jest! I jest!

I think there's a bunch of Frank Lloyd Write homes worth checking out, too. Alright, in all seriousness, obviously, this would be a trek worth making -- something on the equivalent of a journey to Graceland but, clearly, in some ways, probably way more interesting.

What I'd really like to do is travel across the country to see all the great Rock & Roll meccas -- Muscle Shoals, Sun Studios, Stax, Hittsville U.S.A., The Rock & Roll Museum, Experience Hendrix, Graceland and now the Les Paul exhibit at The Waukesha County Museum in Wisconsin.

Where else should I go (besides, H*ll, no doubt, for making those remarks about Wisconsin)?
July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
i must go to this. this would be a hell of a trip.
August 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdj

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