Anyone know DeVoe?
I'm thinking this would be a great place for a Piano Party!




DeVoe Moore adds world-famous Steinway to his museum



He's no Billy Joel. But Tallahassee entrepreneur and museum owner DeVoe Moore continues to build his reputation as the Piano Man of collectors.

Next month, the Steinway & Sons piano company will deliver Moore's latest acquisition: the 500,000th art case piano ever made by Steinway, a New York-based company that is more than 150 years old.

The piano was created in 1987 for Steinway's 135th anniversary and has spent 25 years touring the world. Its art case is laser-etched with 800 names of musicians who have played the piano in its travels, including such all-stars as Elton John, Vladimir Horowitz, Van Cliburn, Harry Connick Jr. and, of course, Billy Joel.

The piano will be displayed at Moore's Tallahassee Automobile Museum, where his wide-ranging collection of American craftsmanship currently includes seven replicas of famous Steinway pianos including three Steinway-built replicas: a commemorative 100,000th, the Alma-Tadema and the "Peace Prize" pianos.

The 500,000th Steinway piano has been valued at $1.2 million. Moore paid $300,000 for the piano because of his ability to give it the proper home. It's the first time, Steinway has sold one of its commemorative pianos to a private collector.

"We've had four or five people recently, and maybe 25 over the years, who have wanted to purchase this piano. The reason we didn't sell it to them is they wanted to put it in their homes, away from public view," said Ron Losby, president of Steinway & Sons. "We wanted it to be on display, we wanted people to see this part of our history, and of American history, in perpetuity. And Devoe offered that opportunity through his museum."

Steinway has been making pianos since 1853, in its founding plant in Astoria, N.Y., as well as a second plant in Hamburg, Germany. Each plant employs about 300 craftsmen and the two plants build a combined 2,500 to 3,000 pianos a year. Since 1857, Steinway also has produced "art case" pianos, in which notable artists designed the piano exterior.

The company's 100,000th art case piano was in the White House from 1903-1938 and is now in the Smithsonian. The 300,000th art case piano replaced the 100,000th in the White House.

Moore, 75, opened his museum in 1996 on Mahan Drive. In 2008, he moved the museum a couple miles east to a 95,000 square foot facility on Mahan Drive near I-10. The museum attracts 25,000 to 30,000 visitors a year.

Moore is Tallahassee's famously irascible, government regulation-combating, self-made millionaire. In the early 1960s, while a student at Florida State University, he started a business shoeing horses. That income helped finance a brake-and-clutch manufacturing company, which he parlayed into an active career in real estate and construction.

Early on, Moore began collecting all kinds of stuff, particularly cars. His museum displays his collection of 140 vehicles, ranging from the second car ever made (1894 Duryea) to one of only 51 Tucker Torpedos ever made to numerous early 20th century cars to a host of 1960s Detroit muscle cars to several Batmobiles used in the movies. He also has collected a wide range of Americana: plows, outboard motors, knives, cash registers, dolls, motorcycles, sports equipment and pianos.

In 2006, he bought his first and still favorite Steinway replica: an Alma-Tadema, whose original art case was designed in 1887 by artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Moore's replica was constructed from two dozen types of wood, includes 2,200 pearl studs and has a classical oil painting, "The Wandering Minstrels," painted above the keyboard.

The Alma-Tadema is one of "three true replicas," built by the Steinway company and Moore also has the other two: a replica of the all-gold 100,000th Steinway now in the Smithsonian; and a replica of the "Peace Prize" piano created for the 1939 World's Fair. Moore's replica toured the world for UNICEF in the 2000s.

Moore is not a musician, admitting he "can't play a note" on his pianos. But he admires the craftsmanship of Steinway & Sons.

"Look at the artwork, look at the craftsmanship," Moore said as he stood in front of the Alma-Tadema. "It's a beautiful piece of art."

Moore often allows local musicians and FSU music students to play the pianos. He occasionally loans them out for events though he drew the line at Tallahassee pianist Marvin Goldstein's proposal to play the gold 100,000th Steinway replica at an outdoor concert at Cascades Park.

"It's good for them to be played every now and then," Moore said. "But the moisture outside wouldn't be good. And at Cascades Park, someone might throw a beer at it."

Moore paid $675,000 for the Alma-Tadema. And though his other pianos before the 500,000th are only Steinway replicas, the collection is worth several million dollars.

"There's no difference between the originals and these, except the original was built first," Moore said.

Losby said his company is excited to place its 500,000th piano among its replica brothers. The company plans to deliver the piano to Moore in mid-December. In late January or early February, Steinway plans to host a gala event in Tallahassee to celebrate Moore's collection and his acquisition of the company's 500,000th piano.

"We are very much looking forward to delivering the 500,000th," Losby said. "His collection will be the most comprehensive and distinctive collection of art-case pianos that are Steinways that has ever been put together."

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/20...useum/19613185/


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