Atlanta's High Museum showcases some of the most important and exciting prototypes from the automobile industry. These vehicles may have been just fantasies or aesthetic exercises but also marked the history of cars.
By Federico Tibytt
Atlanta’s High Museum of Art will present an unprecedented display dedicated exclusively to the genius behind concept cars from legendary automakers such as Porche, Bugatti, Ferrari and General Motors.
The exhibition Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas, on view from 21 May to 7 September 2014, will showcase 17 prototypes - from the 1930s to the 21st century-to highlight the importance of concept cars in the evolution of the automotive industry. Some of these seemingly futuristic proposals were later used in the manufacture of mass produced vehicles. Some of the most recent concept cars not in the exhibition: Mercedes Benz AMG Vision GT and Volvo Concept Coupe.
The exhibit will include not only the prototypes, but also concept drawings, scale models and patents. "The concept cars presented in ‘Dream Cars’ demonstrate how design can transcend the present and offer new paths and opportunities for the future," says Sarah Schleuning, exhibition curator and curator of decorative arts and design at the High. "While these cars were never mass-produced, they shaped the future of the automotive industry by challenging the notion of what is possible, technologically and stylistically."
This is a unique opportunity to see historical pieces that inspired the most renowned designers and engineers, as L'Oeuf électrique from 1942, a creation of the great Paul Arzens, who during the Nazi occupation of France decided to build an electric car for his personal use; and the Scarab created by William Stout in 1936, considered the first utilitarian car or family minivan.
The exhibit will also present the Lancia Stratos HF Zero created by Marcelo Gandini in 1970, a sports car quite radical for its time, and the BMW Gina of Christopher Bangle, a beautiful piece designed in 2001 in which the designer envisioned a car with a body made of fabric rather than metal.
The exhibit will be accompanied by a valuable photographic catalog of 160 pages, which details the design process, the aeronautical and aerodynamic factors, and the revolutionary effects that each model had in the industry.
According to Ken Gross, a car expert and principal consultant curator for the display: " “This exhibition presents 17 historic four-wheeled fantasies that push the envelopes of automotive styling, engineering and design to impressive heights. Visual and tactile tributes to ingenuity and imagination, these remarkable cars will intrigue visitors with their audacity, just as they did when they first appeared." ■
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