Porsche Exhibit at North Carolina Museum

1953 Porsche 550 Prototype Carrera Panamericana

1953 Porsche 550 Prototype, courtesy of the Collier Collection (photo: Peter Harholdt)

An exhibition of Porsche automobiles will be displayed at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) in Raleigh from October 13, 2013 through January 20, 2014. Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed will feature more than 20 automobiles that together trace the evolution of Porsche’s design aesthetic from its inception in the 1930s through the present day.

Organized by guest curator Ken Gross and the NCMA’s Barbara Wiedemann, the exhibit will be the largest and most diverse group of Porsche automobiles ever on display in a U.S. art museum. Beginning with the minimalism of the 1938 Type 64 Berlin-Rome Racer, the oldest model featured in the exhibition, the cars on display show the evolution of design principles that have long linked Porsche with beauty, artistry, technology, and innovation.

Porsche by Design brings together one of the most significant collections of Porsche automobiles ever assembled,” said Ken Gross. “More than ‘just a show about cars’, the exhibition emphasizes the innate beauty of aerodynamic design, inseparably linked with engineering genius. It further illustrates the Porsche family’s ability to stay true, over many decades, to a powerful design history while remaining on the forefront of technological advances, continually driving automobile design forward. These cars are superlative examples of uncompromised, artfully restrained design, lending visual form and grace to the notion of speed.”

Highlights of the Porsche by Design exhibit will include:

  • The 1938/39 Type 64 Berlin to Rome racing car designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. This car is considered to be the precursor to all Porsche automobiles manufactured after 1948.
  • A handcrafted 1949 Gmünd coupe designed by Dr. Porsche’s son “Ferry” Porsche. This car is one of about 50 aluminum-bodied vehicles from the first Porsche “factory”, a converted sawmill in the Austrian town of Gmünd.
  • Steve McQueen’s own Porsche, a Type 356A from 1958, on loan to the Museum from his son Chad McQueen.
  • A rare Type 804 Formula One car, one of only four Type 804s ever built, and the car Dan Gurney raced to victory at the French Grand Prix in 1962.
  • Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche 356C, on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
  • A Porsche GT3R hybrid racing car prototype from 2010.

“At the NCMA we are continually looking for ways to engage our audience with exhibitions and installations that help interpret the world around us through the lens of art and design,” said Lawrence J. Wheeler, director of the North Carolina Museum of Art. “Porsche by Design traces the evolution of these magnificent automobiles, but by virtue of putting them in a museum setting, we are challenged to see them in a different way: as objects of beauty that transcend their use for transportation.”

To provide a more in-depth experience, the Museum will release a series of short-format videos featuring interviews with Porsche collectors, historians, and enthusiasts including Jay Leno, Derek Bell, Dan Neil, Harm Lagaaij, Ken Gross, and Robert Cumberford. The videos include archival images of the Porsche family, a close look at signature Porsche design details, and footage of historic car races. New videos are to be released periodically and will continue throughout the summer.

1949 Porsche 356 Gmund Coupe

Porsche Type 356 Gmünd Coupe, 1949, courtesy of the Ingram Collection (photo: Michael Furman)

1963 Porsche 901 Prototype

1963 Porsche 901 Prototype, courtesy of Don and Diane Meluzio (photo: Michael Furman)

Martini 1971 Porsche 917K

1971 Porsche 917K, courtesy of the Collier Collection (photo: Peter Harholdt)

1990 Porsche 962C

Porsche Type 962C, 1990, courtesy of the Chip Connor Collection (photo: Michael Furman)

The Museum is also partnering with the College of Design at North Carolina State University (NCSU) to offer two for-credit courses created around Porsche by Design. These courses, called “Special Topics in Industrial Design: Cultivating Creativity” and “Special Topics in Industrial Design: Innovation by Design”, will be taught at the Museum by NCSU faculty, and students across the state may register. The Museum is working with NCSU and other colleges in the state on additional programs throughout the run of the exhibition.

The Museum is also producing a full-color exhibition catalogue with photographs by Michael Furman and Peter Harholdt. The catalogue features essays by Ken Gross, Robert Cumberford, Jeff Zwart, Karl Ludvigsen, Randy Leffingwell, Miles C. Collier, Cam Ingram, Cameron Healy, Denise McCluggage, Derek Bell, Pete Lyons, Dan Neil, and Michael Mauer.

For more information on Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed, visit www.ncartmuseum.org/porsche.

[Source: NCMA]


  1. Anonymous says

    Care to place a bet that a Porsche 928 will be displayed? With its many technical innovations (instrument cluster moves with steering wheel height adjust, “active” rear wheel steering,” water cooled front-engine production V-8, electronic limited-slip diff, etc), should be an easy case to make, but…we’ll see.

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