Friday, August 13, 2021

New York's MoMA is having a car show

1946 Pininfarina Cisitalia 202 GT 

Nine cars, including a recently restored Volkswagen Type 1 sedan (better known as the Beetle), will invite visitors to take an up-close view of the machines that architect Le Corbusier compared to ancient Greek temples and critic Roland Barthes likened to “the great Gothic cathedrals…the supreme creation of an era.”

A seminal event in the history of the automobile was being recognized beyond its role as a transportation device in the 1951  '8 Automobiles' exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art 

Philip Johnson, (one of my favorites) director of the MoMA’s department of architecture and design, wrote in the exhibition catalog: “Automobiles are hollow, rolling sculpture, and the refinements of their design are fascinating. We have selected cars whose details and basic designs suggest that automobiles, besides being America’s most useful Useful Objects, could be a source of visual experience more enjoyable than they now are.”

The vehicles selected for the 1951 showcase were a 1949 Cisitalia, 1939 Figoni et Falachi-bodied Talbot, 1937 coffin-nosed Cord, 1930 Mercedes-Benz Model SS, 1939 Bentley, 1941 Lincoln Continental, 1948 MG TC, and 1951 Willys-Overland Jeep

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