Faculty News

MASS MoCA Expansion to Include Schonbeck Instrumentarium

The unique, handcrafted instruments of longtime Bennington faculty member Gunnar Schonbeck will be one of the main attractions in MASS MoCA’s new Building 6, a three-story facility that will double the museum’s exhibition space, making it the largest museum of contemporary art in America.

Schonbeck Instrumentarium

Schonbeck's instruments—adapted from commonplace objects like flowerpots, sewer pipes, and fire extinguishers—were created during his 50-year career at Bennington, where he regularly orchestrated student concerts that featured hundreds of the instruments at once.

A collection of his instruments will be displayed and made available to play in an exhibition called “No Experience Required”—a reference to the “No Experience Required” concerts the late faculty member regularly hosted at Bennington. The exhibition opens May 28 as part of the Building 6 grand opening. 

Over the last five years, visiting musicians to MASS MoCA, including Bang on a Can’s Mark Stewart and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, have drawn on Schonbeck’s instruments in their performances and projects.

Listen to music faculty member Nick Brooke discuss Schonbeck’s life and legacy here