Delightful Designs: When Boston’s Museum of Fine Art (MFA) announced that it was planning to mount an exhibit featuring cars (March 6 to July 3, 2005), the Brahmins of the New England art community were alarmed. Then a month before the exhibit, the museum displayed a 1958 Ferrari—a red 250 Testa Rossa racer designed by coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti, which is considered by many to be the most artful automobile of the 1950s. It epitomizes style with its long, flowing body and exquisite sensuality.
In Speed, Style, and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection (MFA Publications, 196 color and 37 b/w illustrations, 232 pages, softcover, $60.00, 0-87846-685-1), photographer Michael Furman, author and photographer of Motorcars of the Classic Era, captures the elegant sculpture of twenty-nine cars owned by designer Lauren, nineteen of which were on view at the museum. Beverly Rae Kimes, five-time recipient of the Cugnot Award for the year’s best automotive book, and Winston S. Goodfellow, author of Italian Sports Cars and Chief Class Judge of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, provide period histories and automobile vignettes. In an interview by MFA curator Darcy Kuronen, Lauren says, “I’ve always seen cars as art. Moving art.”
Furman’s photographs show the fluidity of design and liquidity of line of such vehicles as a midnight black 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC, a dark green 1955 Jaguar XKD, and a silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Volante.
Kinetic art at its most functional.