Dulcimer Jig

Dulcimer Jig

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Description

This dulcimer jig was made by Morris Pickow (uncle of George Pickow who was Jean Ritchie’s husband) in the early 1960s. It is made of wood with metal clamps and expansion screws for bending sides and gluing tops and bottoms for teardrop-shaped dulcimers. This jig was used to make dulcimers designed by American folk music singer and songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player, Jean Ritchie.

Jean Ritchie (1922-2015) became known as "The Mother of Folk" for her contributions to American folk music. She was instrumental in introducing the dulcimer to a wider audience as well as making dulcimers with her husband George Pickow (the maker of the "Wedding" dulcimer, Cat. #2015.0234.01).

In 1952, Jean Ritchie received a Fulbright scholarship to research folk songs and music that originated in Britain and Ireland, which subsequently made their way to the United States. Ritchie performed these songs in concerts throughout England and included some of the songs in her recording Field Trip, in 1954. After Jean Ritchie's return to the United States, she continued to perform and record. In 1959, she performed at the first Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. Jean Ritchie recorded over 30 albums and authored 7 books throughout her career. In 1977, she received the Rolling Stone Magazine Critics award for her album None But One.

In 2002, Jean Ritchie received a National Endowment for the Arts heritage fellowship. She continued to perform until 2009, when she suffered a stroke. A tribute album, Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie was released in 2014 and featured musicians Janis Ian, Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, and Kathie Mattea.

Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
jig
date made
early 1960s
place made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 5 in x 10 in x 41 in; 12.7 cm x 25.4 cm x 104.14 cm
ID Number
2015.0234.04
accession number
2015.0234
catalog number
2015.0234.04
Credit Line
Gift of Peter Pickow
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Dulcimers
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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