22 February 2016
Perpetually on the move, even when motionless. By way of those elongated and futuristic hoods, stretching forward to eat up the road with the hunger of those who want to leave their past behind them: that’s how the automobiles of the twenties and thirties were, vehicles with streamlined and sculptural forms, beautiful objects lightyears away from present-day obsessions with efficiency and economy. The elegance of that bodywork is celebrated today by the exhibition Sculpted in Steel: Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles, 1929-1940, which brings together and puts on display 14 cars and 3 motorbikes of that iconic age, accompanying them with photographs and films from the time. You have until May 30 to pay a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, in order to admire the unique and ultramodern models constructed between the wars and still among the highest expressions of design on two and four wheels. They range from the Henderson KJ Streamline of 1929, the motorcycle designed by O. Ray Courtney with chromium plating that looks as if it had been lifted from a postcard of Gotham City, to the Edsel Ford Model 40 Special Speedster, made in 1934 for the president of the Ford Motor Company, with characteristics and details borrowed from the world of aeronautics. Don’t miss the Tatra T97 of 1936, designed by Hans Ledwinka in pre-Nazi Europe in the form of a teardrop and assembled in Czechoslovakia until the annexation of the country by Hitler’s Germany. A piece of historic memory, of transatlantic influences sculpted forever in steel.
Sculpted in Steel: Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles 1929-1940
The Museum of Fine Arts
Curated by Ken Gross and Cindi Strauss
February 21 > May 30, 2016