The Allure of the Automobile

ATLANTA —“The Allure of the Automobile,” the first exhibition to consider the stylistic development of automobiles in the context of prominent design movements such as Art Moderne and Postwar Modernity, will premiere at the High Museum of Art in March 2010. The exhibition will present 18 of the world’s rarest and most brilliantly conceived cars ranging from the 1930s to the mid-1960s, including masterpieces by Bugatti, Duesenberg, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Ferrari. These cars combine state-of-the-art engineering, meticulous craftsmanship and groundbreaking design to create works of “rolling sculpture.” The exhibition, made possible by lead sponsor Porsche Cars North America,Inc. will be on view from March 21 through June 20, 2010.

“Our visitors will be surprised to find that today’s vehicles come from a legacy of beauty and innovation comparable to the finest decorative arts that may be found in museum collections,” said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director of the High Museum of Art. “This exhibition will showcase the greatest feats of engineering and luxury design from 1930 to 1965, when cars became synonymous with success, power and wealth. Created for the privileged few, these luxurious, custom-built automobiles embodied speed, style and elegance, and influenced art, architecture, fashion and design.”

The 18 automobiles on view at the High will include one-of-a-kind, custom-built designs that incorporate remarkable advances in automotive styling and engineering. The sections of the exhibition will trace the evolution of the motorcar, examining the contrasts between European and American design, the influence of decorative arts and design and the significant changes in automotive styling and engineering both before and after World War II. The featured automobiles have also won awards at prestigious world events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, broken records on racetracks and were previously owned by noted car enthusiasts such as Hollywood legends Clark Gable and Steve McQueen.

Pre-war American

• 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow
• 1934 Packard Twelve Runabout Speedster, formerly owned by Clark Gable
• 1935 Duesenberg JN Roadster, formerly owned by Clark Gable

Pre-war European

• 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster
• 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe
• 1937 Delage D8-120S, formerly owned by Louis Delage
• 1937 Hispano-Suiza H-6C “Xenia” Coupe
• 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C2900B Touring Berlinetta
• 1938/39 Porsche Type 64 (body shell)

Postwar European

• 1953 Porsche 550
• 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR
• 1957 Jaguar XK-SS Roadster, formerly owned by Steve McQueen
• 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato
• 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Comp./61 Short-wheelbase Berlinetta

Postwar American

• 1948 Tucker Model 48 Torpedo
• 1954 Dodge Firearrow III Concept Coupe
• 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
• 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray

Exhibition Organization and Support
“The Allure of the Automobile” is organized by the High Museum of Art. The exhibition is made possible by its Lead Corporate Sponsor, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Additional support provided by AkzoNobel, AutoTrader Classics, Manheim, NAPA, The Allure of the Automobile Society, Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment, and Howell Exhibition Endowment Fund. Project Partner, W Atlanta Midtown. The exhibition’s guest curator is Ken Gross, writer, automotive historian and former executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Ron Labaco, the High’s curator of decorative arts and design, is the managing curator. For more information about the High, please visit www.high.org.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s