Upcoming Exhibitions

Drive: Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles

Saturday, September 08, 2018 - Sunday, February 03, 2019

From one-of-a-kind concept cars to celebrity-owned roadsters, Drive: Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles features an all-star cast of American automotive and motorcycle icons spanning over a half century from 1910-1965.

Gathered together for the first time ever, these steel sculptures include rare, and in some cases, never-before-shared vehicles such as the following:

  • 1920 Anderson "Made in Dixie"
  • 1935 Duesenberg Model SSJ Roadster
  • 1948 Tucker Torpedo "Tin Goose" Prototype
  • 1959 Chevrolette Corvette Stingray Prototype
  • 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74
  • 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C

The cars and motorcycles included are iconic in their own right, and they represent the best efforts of famous inventors, coachbuilders, engineers, designers and owners.

For over one hundred years, the American automotive industry has been in the forefront of development, presenting many memorable automotive icons – very special cars (and motorcycles) that pioneered engineering and technical breakthroughs, presented dramatic styling tours de force and conceptual firsts, and realized dramatic sales triumphs.

Organized by well-known guest car curator Ken Gross, he is no longer surprised when an automobile exhibition in a fine art institution attracts both art aficionados and automobile enthusiasts. “Visitors are very excited to see these important cars and motorcycles, beautifully displayed and interpreted in galleries, in an artful way that they’ve never before considered.”

The vehicles on display will constitute restored as well as well-preserved examples, loaned by collectors and museums from across the country, who acknowledge that the preservation, use and display of cars and motorcycles is an important part of the history of the 20th Century.

Ken Gross is a curator, journalist and former director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angles, California. His eleven previous automotive exhibitions have appeared at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, to name just a few. He is a 28-year Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Chief Class Judge and contributes to AutoWeek,, American Car Collector, and Old Cars Weekly. Gross has received the Automotive Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Citation, the Pebble Beach Lorin Tryon Trophy, the International Motor Press Association’s Ken Purdy award, the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Bachelor Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lee Iacocca Award.

Drive: Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles is organized by the Taubman Museum of Art and guest curated by Ken Gross. The exhibition will be on view in the Special Exhibition Gallery and the Carilion Clinic Gallery from September 8, 2018, through February 3, 2019.

The exhibition is presented by Advance Auto Parts, with additional generous support provided by Grand Home Furnishings, EC Pace Construction Company, Blue Ridge Beverage, Lanford Brothers Co., Nicholas and Jenny Taubman, Tom and Mary Tielking, and Barry and Libba Wolfe.

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Top Image: 
1959 Chevrolet Sting Ray Prototype, Collection of GM Heritage Center, Warren, MI

Left to right: 
1959 Chevrolet Sting Ray Prototype, Collection of GM Heritage Center, Warren, MI

1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74, Collection of GM Heritage Center, Warren, MI

1934 Ford Model 40 Speedster, Collection of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI

1959 Chevrolet Sting Ray Prototype (detail)Collection of GM Heritage Center, Warren, MI

1935 Duesenberg SSJ Roadster (Formerly Owned by Gary Cooper), Collection of The REVS Institute, Naples, FL

All images © Peter Harholdt Photography