"Following Steven Kern Shaw's death, his will specified his desire that his prized instruments be donated to an institution capable of properly exhibiting and caring for the collection, preferably in the Nashville area that had become his home. He also felt strongly that "these instruments are to be played and heard," not just collect dust in a display. Thanks to the input of family friend, co-executor of his estate and vintage guitar expert George Gruhn, the Shaw Collection of nearly 500 unique and irreplaceable instruments came to Belmont University and established the foundation of the museum." The collection on view consists primarily of iconic 20th-century American-made guitars and mandolins, including:
"The gift of nearly 500 historically significant instruments and supporting endowment—amounting to a total value of approximately $10.5 million—comes from the estate of the late Steven Kern Shaw. Shaw was a collector, philanthropist and the grandson of Broadway composer Jerome Kern who was one of America’s foremost composers of musical theater and popular music (responsible for such classic songs as “Ol’ Man River,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”)."
Source: Belmont News and Media.