The Frist Center for the Visual Arts rolls out its new exhibit “Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles” this week. Organized by guest curator Ken Gross, the exhibit showcases automobiles and motorcycles from the 1930’s and 1940’s on loan from some of the world’s most renowned collections.
The Art Deco movement thrived between the two world wars. It combined industrial materials and ornate designs. The automobiles on display from this era feature smooth curves, sharp edges, intricate grillwork, luxurious upholstery, and bold paint.
Each car has a story behind it. For instance, André Dubonnet, aperitif baron of France and amateur racing driver named his 1938 Hispano-Suiza “Xenia,” in memory of his first wife.
The exhibit will be on view at the Frist from June 14th through September 15.
Executive Director Susan Edwards says “Sensuous Steel” is a good fit for the Frist, which is an old Art Deco post office. In fact, Edwards says the Frist has been looking for nine years for an Art Deco exhibit to highlight the museum’s own architecture.
The Frist moved the cars in last week. Here’s a video of the cars in motion: