The Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles exhibit is presently on display at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee through September 15, 2013. The first fine art museum exhibition devoted to vehicles of the Art Deco era, Sensuous Steel highlights 18 automobiles and two motorcycles from the 1930s and ’40s.
Curated by Ken Gross from some of the most renowned car collectors and collections in the automotive world, the iconic vehicles in Sensuous Steel display the classic grace and modern luxury of Art Deco design. Among a museum full of notable and important vehicles, examples include Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet; a 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow, one of three survivors; a special Delahaye 135MS created by coachbuilders Joseph Figoni and Ovidio Falaschi for the 1937 Paris Auto Salon; a 1934 Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe; the airplane-like 1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet “Xenia” Coupe; the 1939 Bugatti Type 57C by Vanvooren gifted by France as a wedding present to the future Shah of Iran and the very first “New York-style” 1938 Talbot-Lago T-150C-SS Teardrop Coupe.
“Rapidly changing and ever-evolving, the automobile became the perfect metal canvas upon which industrial designers expressed the vital spirit of the interwar period,” explained Guest Curator Ken Gross. “To give the illusion of dramatic movement and forward thrust, cars of the 1930s and ’40s merged gentle curves with angular edges. These automobiles were made from the finest materials and sported beautifully crafted ornamentation, geometric grillwork, and the elegant miniature statuary of hood ornaments. The classic cars of the Art Deco age remain today as among the most visually exciting, iconic and refined designs of the twentieth century.”
The Frist reported nearly 6,000 visitors for the opening weekend, one of the most successful openings in its history, with lines out the door and visitors from all over the country traveling to Nashville specifically to see the magnificent automobiles and motorcycles on display at Sensuous Steel.
The Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles exhibit is on display in the Center’s Ingram Gallery through September 15, 2013. Admission is free for Frist Center members and $10.00 for adults. Visitors 18 and younger are admitted free of charge. Advance tickets can be purchased on site at the Frist Center. Frist Center members may reserve tickets by calling the Frist Center Member Hotline at 615.744.3248. During the run of Sensuous Steel, Nashville’s Lane Motor Museum and the Frist Center will offer reciprocal admission discounts when ticket stubs are presented. Each ticket stub from the Lane Motor Museum is good for one half-price admission at the Frist, and each Frist Center ticket stub can be used at the Lane Motor Museum to receive a discount on a single ticket. For additional information, visit www.fristcenter.org.
Photographer Bruce Sweetman documented the June 14, 2013 opening of the Sensuous Steel exhibit, offering the following gallery that highlights the wonderful and interesting selection of Art Deco automobiles on display at the Frist.