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Exhibition

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Rolling Sculpture: Art Deco Cars from the 1930s and ’40s

October 1, 2016–January 15, 2017
North Carolina Museum of Art

The art deco period—from the 1920s to the 1940s—is known for blending modern decorative arts with industrial design and is today synonymous with luxury and glamour. The automobile, a rapidly evolving mechanical child of the 20th century, thus became the perfect metal canvas upon which to express the popular art deco style.

The automobile, a rapidly evolving mechanical child of the 20th century, thus became the perfect metal canvas upon which to express the popular art deco style.

While today manufacturers often strive for economy and efficiency, this was a period when innovation and elegance reigned supreme. Influenced by an international art movement, automakers embraced the sleek, new streamlined forms and aircraft-inspired materials to create memorable automobiles that still thrill all who see them. With bold, sensuous shapes; handcrafted details; and luxurious finishes, the 14 automobiles and three motorcycles in the exhibition provide stunning examples of car design … with artistic flair.

Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.

Slide Show

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