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Catalog Data

Manufactured by:
Baldwin Piano Company, American, founded 1862  Search this
Used by:
Thelonious Monk, American, 1917 - 1982  Search this
wood, metal, foam, vinyl
H x W x D: 19 5/16 × 33 7/16 × 15 9/16 in. (49 × 85 × 39.5 cm)
grand pianos
Place made:
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States, North and Central America
Although he had long had the admiration of his fellow musicians and dedicated fans, Thelonious Monk’s move to Columbia Records in 1962 signaled his acceptance by mainstream jazz audiences. This piano and bench figured in many of Monk’s successes during the middle and late phases of his career. In late 1962, he purchased the instrument from Baldwin’s New York showroom using the money from his first Columbia advance payment. Monk’s Baldwin was the first and only piano he ever owned, after spending his earlier career practicing and composing on rented instruments or house pianos in nightclubs. Monk likely used this instrument to compose many of his later compositions, including well-known pieces like "Green Chimneys," "Stuffy Turkey," and "Ugly Beauty."
A piano bench owned and used by Thelonious Monk. The bench is brown with a cushioned, white vinyl seat. The seat has a large tear in the middle and the underlying foam is visible. The bench is stained brown and has ogee curved edges where the cushion meets the bench. The legs of the bench are unadorned.
African American  Search this
Composers (Musicians)  Search this
Instrumentalists (Musicians)  Search this
Jazz (Music)  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of T.S. and Gale Monk in memory of Thelonious Monk
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Musical Instruments
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture