Dream Cars at the High Museum, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

Who could resist this face? Isn’t it a work of art?

1936 Stout Scarab front detail.

1936 Stout Scarab, a “living room on wheels”, a work of art, and a precursor to the minivan. I think it’s also a precursor to the cat-bus in Miyazake’s My Neighbor Totoro.

Faces of an exhibition: This week I’m taking a break from clutter (in blogging if not in life) to look at something completely different. Here’s a gallery of faces of the “Dream Cars” in the exhibition of concept cars at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, open May 21- Sep 07. If you’re reading in your browser, you can hover on a photo for the title, or click on any one for complete titles and larger images that you can page through — photos are mine unless otherwise attributed.

I love how streamlined designs like these still look futuristic, even decades later.  I’m not really into cars, but these are works of art, and are in a class by themselves. Here are a few more details… can you tell I was thrilled to get my first invitation to a media preview? I got carried away taking photographs and was one of the last ones out of the exhibition. That meant I had the gift shop all to myself, but I maintained my anti-hoarder stance and, though tempted, I didn’t acquire anything.

This next one reminds me of a Boccioni Futurist sculpture (Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, anyone?) except it’s covered in fabric — as you can see in this photo.

2001 BMW Gina Light Visionary Model, photo courtesy of the High Museum Atlanta

BMW Gina Light Visionary Model, photo courtesy of the High Museum, Atlanta

No exhibition is complete without exiting through the gift shop, and this one has not only the requisite books and posters, but more adorable animistic shapes to offer. I was a little disappointed to see I wasn’t unique in my interest in the ‘faces’ of the exhibition. I suspect we have Pixar to thank for that.

Run, don’t walk… no wait, drive to see this exhibition if you’re anywhere near Atlanta between now and September 07. I asked if there’s going to be a day that they’ll have hoods-up or lights-on… the answer was no, but check the website for videos of such. For the High’s website, with lots more information & many photos click here.

Do you have a favorite work-of-art Dream Car? (or are you waiting for Dream Bicycles? Oh, Dream Trains would be good too.) 

The 1998 “Art of the Motorcycle” show at the Guggenheim, and the 2010 “Allure of the Automobile” at the High set a great precedent for defining works of art.

As always: here’s a link to more entries in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

6 thoughts on “Dream Cars at the High Museum, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

  1. Sandy,
    I love the car photos, and why wouldn’t I with my dad having been a mechanic. You comment about the smiles reminds me of an article I read a couple of years ago comparing U.S. autos with Japanese. The U.S. cars have the (smiling) face in the front but Japanese place the face in the rear to provide pleasure to those who are following. Needless to say, I started comparing. Most U.S. cars have bland rear ends.

    • I didn’t know that about Japanese cars (I love it) – now I’m going to have to pay attention. I drive a Honda, so you think I’d have noticed. I just googled ‘car faces’ and came up with dozens. One that was in the exhibition and I didn’t put in my gallery was the 1970 Lancia (Bertone) Stratos HF Zero, a ‘wedge’ with no face — 33 inches high, no doors, entry through the windshield, which flips up. I thought I’d attach a photo here but I don’t see a way to do it. Thanks for the comment! — Sandy

  2. Pingback: Car faces & body language « Sustainability soapbox

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