HomeThe MarketHouston, Nashville art museums to feature 'Gross' cars

Houston, Nashville art museums to feature ‘Gross’ cars


1937 Delahaye 135MS roadster by Figonh et Falaschi among featured vehicles | Peter Harholdt photo courtesy REVS Institute
1937 Delahaye 135MS roadster by Figonh et Falaschi among featured vehicles | Peter Harholdt photo courtesy REVS Institute

Ken Gross is at it again, and this time it will be art museums and their patrons in Houston and Nashville that will benefit from Gross’ curatorial talent.

From February 21 through May 30, the exhibition “Sculpted in Steele: Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles, 1929-1940” will be featured at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and from May 27 through October 9, “Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945 to 1975” will be at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Today’s automotive manufacturers strive for economy and efficiency, but there was a time when art and elegance reigned,” the Houston museum’s news release begins. That release goes on to note that “Sculpted in Steel” will include 14 cars and three motorcycles, as well as historical images and videos of vehicles of the Art Deco era.

Among the vehicles to be on display are:

1934 BMW R7 concept motorcycle | Peter Harholdt photo courtesy BMW Classic Collection
1934 BMW R7 concept motorcycle | Peter Harholdt photo courtesy BMW Classic Collection

1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet “Xenia” coupe
1934 Packard Twelve Model 1106 by LeBaron
1938 Talbot-Lago T150CSS by Figoni et Falaschi
1936 Delahaye 135M competition coupe by Figoni et Falaschi
1937 Delahaye 135 MS roadster by Figoni et Falaschi
1935 Chrysler Imperial Model C2 Airflow
1934 BMW R7 concept motorcycle
1934 Edsel Ford Model 40 special speedster
1934 Avons Voisin Type C27 Aerosport coupe
1936 Auburn Model 810 “Armchair” Beverly Sedan
1938 Tatra T97
1940 Indian Chief motorcycle
1929 Bugatti Type 46 Semiprofile coupe
1930 Henderson KJ streamline motorcycle
1936 Stout Scarab

In addition, former Ford global design director J Mays will lecture on the “Theater of Transportation” on February 28.


“Bellissima!” marks a return for a Gross-curated automotive exhibition at the Frist, where he helped put together 19 cars and three motorcycles for “Sensuous Steele: Art Deco Automobiles” in 2013.

The exhibit “celebrates the visual dynamism and spirit of innovation characterizing Italian coachbuilt cars, concept cars and motorcycles produced during the post-World War II economic revival,” the museum’s news release notes.

The exhibition will offer five themes, each showcased with a selection of vehicles:

Berlinettas: 1950 Cisitalia 202 SC, 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic, 1955 Maserati A6G 2000 Zagato, 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.
Aerodynamics: four Alfa Romeos — 1946 6C 2500 S and the BAT 5, BAT 7 and BAT 9 concepts — as well as a 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica and 1952 Lancis B52 Aurelia Spider PF200.
Custom Coachwork Designs for Italian and American Automakers: 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis, 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car, 1952 Cunningham C3 Continental.
Advanced Mid-Engine Cars: 1953 ATS 2500 GT, 1966 Ferrari 365 P Tre Posti, 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 Strada, 1970 Lamborghini Miura S.
Wedge-Shaped Automobiles: 1955 Chrysler Ghia Gilda, 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero.

Plus Motorcycles: 1967 Moto Guzzi 500 cc V8, 1973 MV Agusta 750 Sport, 1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport.


Gross was director of the Petersen Automotive Museum for four years and also curated exhibitions at art museums in Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City; Indianapolis; Atlanta; and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

During the exhibition, the museum will host various car clubs in its parking lot on Sundays.

In conjunction with the exhibition at the Frist, the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville will showcase “Macchine Italiane: A Tour of Italy’s Motoring Spirit” with more than three dozen cars, motorcycles and bicycles, from May 26, 2016, through May 22, 2017.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
  1. Although the Model 810 was under the Auburn parent company, it should be labeled as a Cord Model 810 Beverly Sedan.

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