The 5-by-7-foot installation was unveiled at "Enter the Mind of Moog," a May 21 event celebrating what would have been the electronic music pioneer's 75th birthday (he passed away in 2005). Installed on the wall in The Orange Peel's foyer, the MiniMoogseum displays photos, ephemera and parts from some of Moog's signature inventions, along with a working theremin that can be played by anyone who stands in front of it.
The display at the music venue is meant both to pay tribute to Moog, who lived and worked around Asheville, and to generate interest and support for the planned, full-fledged Moogseum. The latter project could take three to five years to come to fruition, says Michelle Moog-Koussa, the inventor's daughter, who serves as executive director of the Bob Moog Foundation.
The foundation recently secured a $600,000 grant from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority that will serve as seed money for the museum, which will be located either in downtown Asheville or the River Arts District, Moog-Koussa reports.
A year in the making, the MiniMoogseum is the work of many hands, notes lead artist Gene Felice. Steve Dunnington of Moog Music handled the electrical components; Cormark International donated the African mahogany used to build the display structure; Asheville Hardware donated the hardware; Henco Reprographics printed the backlit panel; SpeedGraphics printed the modular backdrop; and Chris Perryman of Domus Aurea did the woodworking.
Even so, the installation remains a work in progress: From time to time, different items from Moog's extensive archives will be rotated into the display, and the theremin will be swapped out in favor of various other audio components.
For his part, Felice conceived the original design and helped shape the installation as it came together. He also created a backlit glass piece at the top that depicts Moog's visage set against the sun shining over the mountains. "It's like [Moog] is still with us," Felice says about the piece. "Still overlooking the city and gracing us with his inventiveness and genius."