Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles continues at the Frist through September
Through Sept. 15, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts will present Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles, an exhibition of unique and luxurious autos from the 1930s and ’40s.
Sensuous Steel includes 18 automobiles and two motorcycles drawn from some of the most renowned car collectors and collections in the automotive world. Organized by Guest Curator Ken Gross, former Petersen Automotive Museum director, the exhibition will be on view in the Center’s Ingram Gallery through Sept. 15, 2013.
While today automotive manufacturers often strive for economy and efficiency, there was a time when elegance reigned. Like the Frist Center’s historic building, the automobiles included in Sensuous Steel display the classic grace and modern luxury of Art Deco design. An eclectic, machine-inspired decorative style that thrived between the two World Wars, Art Deco combined craft motifs with industrial materials and lavish embellishments.
The movement began in Paris in the early 1920s and was propelled to prominence with the success of the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in 1925. Automakers embraced the sleek iconography of motion and aircraft-inspired materials connotative of Art Deco, creating memorable automobiles that still thrill all who see them.
“Sensuous Steel is the first major museum auto exhibition devoted entirely to Art Deco automobiles, and there could be no more fitting a venue than the Frist Center’s landmark historic Art Deco building, which was completed in 1934,” notes Frist Center Executive Director Dr. Susan H. Edwards.
Among the automobiles included in Sensuous Steel are:
1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet- Designed by Alan Leamy who is known for styling the famed
Auburn Speedster, the Cord L-29 Cabriolet was the first U.S. front-drive luxury car. It
was painted its notable burnt orange color by its former owner, Frank Lloyd Wright.
1937 Delahaye 135 MS Roadster by Figoni and Falaschi- Created for the 1937 Paris
Auto Show, this car was called “a Paris gown on wheels.” The roadster features
aluminum coachwork and a leather interior by Hermès. Most significant are four features
that were patented by Figoni and Falaschi, which included a roll-down disappearing
1934 Edsel Ford Model 40 Speedster- Designed by E.T. “Bob” Gregorie specifically for
Edsel B. Ford, the speedster features a two-seater aluminum alloy body patterned after
an Indy race car. It is the only one of its kind ever made.
1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow Sedan- Designed by Phillip Wright, the Arrow Sedan
was originally built for the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition (1933-34). This car
was the epitome of luxury with a price tag of $10,000 (roughly $170,000 today). Only five
of these sedans were made, with three of them surviving to this day.
1935 Stout Scarab- Bill Stout, an aircraft engineer who developed the Ford Tri-Motor
aircraft, began creating a radical sedan concept in the early 1930s. The end result, the
Scarab, featured a roomy interior that boasted moveable seats and a small table. This
unique auto anticipated the first minivan.
The exhibition will be accompanied by two audio tours, one for adults and one for children.
Admission to Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles 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 beginning April 1, 2013.
Frist Center members may reserve tickets by calling the Frist Center Member Hotline at 615.744.3248.
To accommodate out-of-town visitors, a limited number of non-member advance tickets for each day of the exhibition will be available online starting April 1, 2013 through NowPlayingNashville.com, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Each order carries a $1.50 convenience charge that benefits the Community Foundation. Purchasers will download a voucher from NowPlayingNashville.com that will be redeemable at the Frist Center for exhibition admission on the specific date for which the voucher has been bought. Tickets purchased through NowPlayingNashville.com are non-refundable.
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. The Lane Motor Museum is located at 702 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville. Learn more at http://lanemotormuseum.org/
About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international
sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery, open until 5:30 p.m. each day, features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. With possible exception for some specially-ticketed exhibitions, Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings, 5–9
p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3247.The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our website at www.fristcenter.org.
Posted on: 8/14/2013