Dream Cars – Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas
High Museum of Art – Atlanta, Georgia
Exhibition: May 21 – September 07, 2014
Through September 7, 2014
The exhibition will display conceptual drawings and scale models in addition to the concept cars, demonstrating how their experimental designs advanced ideas of progress and changed the automobile from an object of function to a symbol of future possibilities.
For more information about this unique automobile exhibit: Please visit the High Museum of Art’s Website at: www.high.org
“The automobile has evolved from curiosity to daily necessity. Its form has advanced from the horseless carriages of the early twentieth century to the sleek, highly functional objects we know today. The experimental, concept, or “dream car,” as it became known in the early 1950s, has long been a dynamic tool allowing designers to showcase and demonstrate forward-thinking automotive design ideas. Concept cars were not objects the public typically could purchase, but rather the testing ground for innovations that might find expression in automobiles produced decades later. This exhibition explores the innovative designs that sparked ideas of future possibility and progress. It examines the dream car through five themes: individual makers, the impact of styling, visionary designers, the design process, and the influence of automobile fairs.
Chosen from hundreds of concept cars produced between 1932 and the present day, the visions for these automobiles are exciting to behold. Like most concept cars, those on display were never intended for production. Imagine an egg-shaped electric car, an exterior surface made of flexible fabric, or a jet fighter rolling down the highway – all of these were among the ideas dreamed up by designers and are featured in these galleries. The “dream” represented by these cars was that of future possibilities and pushing the limits of imagination and design.
Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas
by Sarah Schleuning and Ken Gross
A sensuously designed showcase of covetable concept or limited-edition cars by the best American and European manufacturers. Dream Cars presents some of the world’s most breathtaking concept cars built between 1934 and 2001, a series of visionary designs that influenced the automotive industry and challenged notions of what is possible both aesthetically and technologically. Stunning, all-new photography of design pioneers such as the 1935 Bugatti Type 57S Compétition Coupé Aerolithe, the 1951 General Motors Le Sabre XP-8, and the 1956 Buick Centurion XP-301. 7 accompany lush images of dream sports cars, including the 1970 Ferrari (Pininfarina) 512 S Modulo and the 1955 Ghia Streamline X “Gilda.” Meticulously restored and brought to life by all-new photography, these images trace a lineage of innovation in automobile design.
Comprehensive descriptions by celebrated automotive writer Ken Gross as well as drawings and scale models further illustrate the imaginative force of individual designers and famed manufacturers. Surprising insights into familiar models such as the minivan, based on the streamlined silhouette of the Stout Scarab concept car developed in 1936, are juxtaposed with startling new technologies such as the 2001 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model’s ingenious use of fabric as a retractable skin. An extended essay by Sarah Schleuning explores the effects of aerodynamics and aeronautics on car design and considers how groundbreaking events—such as General Motors’ Motorama—fueled the creativity of automobile styles.
Sarah Schleuning is the curator of decorative arts and design at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Ken Gross, consulting curator, is an award-winning author of six books and a contributor to many major automotive publications.
Organization & Support
Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.
The exhibition is supported by presenting sponsor Porsche Cars North America, Inc. We gratefully acknowledge AutoTrader, AutoTrader Classics, Manheim, WSB-TV, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and WSB News Talk Radio for their generous support. Special thanks to contributing sponsors Delta Air Lines, AT&T, and NAPA. Additional support is provided by The Coca-Cola Company, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, the Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Endowment Fund, and Tommy and Beth Holder. In-kind support provided by UPS.
High Museum of Art – Atlanta Georgia Exhibitions (2014) Retrieved July 23, 2014 from https://www.high.org/Art/Current-Exhibitions.aspx