The third talk in the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum’s 2022 Season Lecture Series will be held at the Museum on Wednesday, February 16, at 5:30pm. Shell Trumpets: The Sound Heard Around the World, will be led by Dr. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, Curator of Musical Instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


One of the world’s most widespread, enduring, and beautifully designed musical instruments was not made by human hands – it is the elegant shell of various types of conchs. Humble but majestic, at once both practical and mystical, conch trumpets have been used for millennia to signal, convey power, accompany spiritual practice, and make music. From conch playing traditions around the globe as chronicled in a surprising range of art and lore to a demonstration of how conch horns work and sound, this talk explores the timeless art and artistry of shell trumpets.


During her tenure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Strauchen-Scherer led the renovation and reinterpretation of the Met’s five music galleries. Her exhibition work and numerous publications explore the intersections between music, instruments, art, and cultural history. Dr. Strauchen-Scherer received her PhD from the University of Oxford and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.


“In addition to the myriad ways molllusks are integral to science and natural history, their shells have astounding presence throughout human history, art, and culture. We’re looking forward to Bradley’s unique exploration of one of humankind’s first musical instruments,” said Sam Ankerson, Executive Director of the National Shell Museum.


The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2022 Season Lecture Series.


The cost to attend the talk is $10 per person (or FREE for Museum Members, memberships to be confirmed upon registration). Refreshments, wine, beer, and snacks are included with event admission. Registration required at


About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only accredited museum in the United States with a primary focus on shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 550,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.