Faculty Invitational Lecture Series II

Speaker:  Dick Boak, Company Historian, C.F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar)

Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Time: 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Room: 302

Boak will share the rich history of C.F. Martin & Co., one of the Lehigh Valley’s oldest employers.  C.F. Martin is a manufacturer of fine guitars, which are highly regarded as among the finest instruments in the world.  A plethora of the world’s most notable musicians choose Martin for the high level of quality and workmanship. In 1973, Boak discovered C. F. Martin & Co. and was soon hired as a design draftsman. Since then and for the past 32 years, he has held many diverse and creative positions there, leading to the formation of Martin’s Artist Relations Department and the conception of more than 140 signature guitar collaborations with the top musical talents of our time. His acclaimed book “Martin Guitar Masterpieces” relays the stories of those collaborations. For 17 years, he lived in his converted “Church Of Art,” an active studio for art, woodworking and live music.


Dick Boak, C. F. Martin's Archivist and public persona for more than 40+ years, will talk about how he was able to transition from a vagabond hippie illustrator, musician, and geodesic dome-building luthier woodworker into a dumpster-diving art teacher and eventually an unlikely but highly-driven Martin employee. After arriving at Martin as the new kid on the block backed by with the confidence and support of Chris Martin and his grandfather C. F. Martin III, Dick was given a long leash to consistently re-invent his job description from design draftsman to prototype maker to founder of the 1833 Shop and Woodworker’s Dream to heading up Martin’s Sawmill to running the Advertising Department to publishing the company’s long-running Sounding Board magazine. In the mid-1990s, Dick’s collaboration with Eric Clapton catalyzed Martin’s Artist Relations Department yielding more than one hundred significant Signature Model artist collaborations. After authoring four books and assisting Chris in the creation of Martin’s Museum, Dick settled into the vast organization of The Martin Archives. With a vibrant visual presentation and his trademark humorous delivery, Dick will touch upon all of these fascinating life-transitions and more! 


While not spreading himself too thin as an illustrator, musician, designer, guitarmaker, woodworker, writer, and publisher, Dick Boak manages the Museum, Archives, and Special Projects for The Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth, PA where he has enjoyed working since 1976. Perhaps his most interesting contribution with Martin has been his years of work with the company’s highly visible Limited Edition guitar program that has produced signature models for more than one hundred legendary artists including Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Buffett, Tom Petty, Steve Miller, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Sting, and Crosby Stills and Nash.