A one-of-a-kind custom Gibson Les Paul guitar was unveiled on July 14 at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York City. Guitar legend Duane Eddy played some of his hit “Rebel Rouser” on the instrument before presenting the guitar to the National Park Service.

The guitar was entirely hand-crafted from artifacts preserved during the centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. The body of the guitar is made from wood that was preserved from steps and doors of the historic Main Building at Ellis Island and the copper inlay and hardware of the Les Paul guitar were created from copper preserved from the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

The “Spirit of America” guitar was commissioned by Gold Leaf Corporation, through an exclusive agreement with The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., and crafted at Gibson’s Custom & Historic Division in Nashville, TN.

“Utilizing the universal language of music, this beautiful example of instrumental art will always serve to inspire the unifying message of hope and freedom while celebrating the diversity of America,” said Rick Stocks, President of Gold Leaf Corporation.

“The Spirit of America” Gibson Les Paul will be on display at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum through August 1, 2011.


Stephen A. Briganti, President and CEO of The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., Legendary Guitarist, Duane Eddy, and Superintendent of The National Park Service, Dave Luchsinger.

Photo Credit: Brian Ach