I'm in LA at the moment and thought I'd take a detour to see the original Sweeney banjo. Does anybody know if it is still at the LA County Museum? Someone told me today that it had been moved to the LA Museum of Natural History, but it isn't listed on their website (only some photographs and letters associated with the banjo are mentioned).
If memory serves me, the Sweeney banjo in the collections of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (not the Los Angeles County Museum of Art). They also have some family documentation related to the banjo (Google Henning/Sweeney Collection).
John, I don't know, but I'd contact the museums and ask. If you're able to get to San Diego, there is a Banjo exhibit in Carlsbad at the Museum of Making music. I'm going tomorrow. I'm told there's quite a collection on display. Hope to see some early banjos.
The documentation of the Sweeney banjo I have is from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, dated May 1976, from John M. Cahoon, Archivist, History Division.
Hope this helps.
I've been in touch with Beth Werling. Unfortunately I do not know anyone in LA, but your other ideas are interesting, and I'll see what I can pull off.
Exactly. I reminded them that I'm a college student and pitched some research ideas. We'll see how it goes.
If your further efforts prove successful, see if they will allow you to take photos.