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High Museum showcases 'Dream Cars'
by Bobby Tedder
June 12, 2014 10:48 AM | 1240 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Sarah Schleuning, curator of decorative arts & design at the High Museum, speaks about the Tasco, designed in 1948.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal Sarah Schleuning, curator of decorative arts & design at the High Museum, speaks about the Tasco, designed in 1948.
slideshow
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Sarah Schleuning waxing poetic about the vehicles currently on display in Dream Cars.


NS 6-11 Dream Cars 2
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Sarah Schleuning, curator of decorative arts & design at the High Museum, speaks about the Tasco, designed in 1948. The automobile never made it to production but contributed greatly to the future of car design with features such as a first-of-its-kind T-top roof with removable panels.


NS 6-11 Dream Cars 3
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
The 1953 Firebird I XP-21 by General Motors, although impractical, was a hit at the 1954 Motorama. This vehicle and its two successors in the following years symbolized the era's obsession with outer space and air travel.


NS 6-11 Dream Cars 4
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
A young patron of the High Museum checks out the 1955 Chrysler Streamline X, on display in the Dream Cars exhibit.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal Sarah Schleuning waxing poetic about the vehicles currently on display in Dream Cars. NS 6-11 Dream Cars 2 Staff / Samantha M. Shal Sarah Schleuning, curator of decorative arts & design at the High Museum, speaks about the Tasco, designed in 1948. The automobile never made it to production but contributed greatly to the future of car design with features such as a first-of-its-kind T-top roof with removable panels. NS 6-11 Dream Cars 3 Staff / Samantha M. Shal The 1953 Firebird I XP-21 by General Motors, although impractical, was a hit at the 1954 Motorama. This vehicle and its two successors in the following years symbolized the era's obsession with outer space and air travel. NS 6-11 Dream Cars 4 Staff / Samantha M. Shal A young patron of the High Museum checks out the 1955 Chrysler Streamline X, on display in the Dream Cars exhibit.
slideshow
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
The 1953 Firebird I XP-21 by General Motors, although impractical, was a hit at the 1954 Motorama. 


NS 6-11 Dream Cars 4
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
A young patron of the High Museum checks out the 1955 Chrysler Streamline X, on display in the Dream Cars exhibit.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal The 1953 Firebird I XP-21 by General Motors, although impractical, was a hit at the 1954 Motorama. NS 6-11 Dream Cars 4 Staff / Samantha M. Shal A young patron of the High Museum checks out the 1955 Chrysler Streamline X, on display in the Dream Cars exhibit.
slideshow
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
A young patron of the High Museum checks out the 1955 Chrysler Streamline X, on display.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal A young patron of the High Museum checks out the 1955 Chrysler Streamline X, on display.
slideshow
The High Museum of Art’s latest exhibit may, in itself, be the portrait of an ideal marriage — of automobiles and grand ideas.

“Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas” runs at the Midtown venue through Sept. 7.

For Sarah Schleuning, tasked with curating and crafting the showcase, this marks the culmination of a three-year haul.

“It’s been a long and fun journey,” said Schleuning, who also serves as curator of decorative arts and design at the High.

In all, 17 concept cars hailing from across the U.S. and Europe are on display in all their shiny splendor — including some of the rarest cars designed by Ferrari, Bugatti, General Motors and Porsche.

“The whole idea of the show,” Schleuning said, “is these are one-of-a-kind unique cars [and] this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity because this isn’t one person’s collection; we gathered these from all over from private and public lenders to bring here.

“It’s really about looking into the ideas behind them and what makes them so special.”

The exhibit features vehicles from the early 1930s to the 21st century. The exhibition pairs conceptual drawings, patents and scale models with the tangible products, demonstrating how their experimental designs progressively changed the automobile from an exclusively functional object into a symbol of future possibilities.

Among the highlights:

n Paul Arzens’ “L’Oeuf électrique” (1942), an electric bubble car designed by Arzens for his personal use in Paris during the German occupation.

n Marcello Gandini’s Lancia (Bertone) “Stratos HF Zero” (1970), a wedge-shaped car standing a mere 33 inches tall.

n Christopher Bangle’s BMW “GINA Light Visionary Model” (2001), which features an exterior made of fabric.

Those behind the scenes are buzzing about the reception “Dream Cars” has gotten thus far.

“It’s been overwhelmingly positive; I hear a lot of people talking about it,” said Schleuning. “These cars are really sculptural — they’re really wonderful works of art.

Terry Schaede of Union City, a lifelong car enthusiast, is among the museum patrons riding high courtesy of the exhibit.

“I love it,” he said. “I think it’s neat. You can see some of the designs and how the [designers] actually got there. It’s kind of fun.

“To see all these very different cars is unbelievable. … Most of them are old and way ahead of their time all at once.”

ON THE WEB:

For more information, visit www.high.org/Dream-Cars-Atlanta
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