What with the press swarming the place, and hectic last-minute preparations, they could have been forgiven for not being too thrilled about having two nerdy violin makers cluttering up their space.
We had a fruitful time, taking measurements, photos, and outlines, and squabbling over fractions of millimeters (measuring actual wear, for istance, as opposed to facturing wear into the written measurements -- all matters of grave import to a luthier). There is nothing that quite inspires me to try to make a really fine violin as handling a really fine violin.
Too, I now feel so much more competent talking to next year's students about the work of Andrea Amati. I'm afraid I have rather tortured this year's lot with my refrain of "Next year, everything will be better!"
Which, of course, it will be.
You can find some pictures of our visit on the NMM's facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/NationalMusicMuseumUSA