HomeCar Culture‘Automania’ exhibition scheduled to open June 28 at MoMA

‘Automania’ exhibition scheduled to open June 28 at MoMA

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


The Museum of Modern Art in New York City will add another automotive-themed exhibition to its history when it opens “Automania,” which currently is scheduled to run from June 28 to September 7.

The exhibition “will investigate the conflicted feelings — compulsion, fixation, desire, and rage — that developed in response to cars and car culture in the 20th century,” the museum said. The exhibition views the car as a modern industrial product, innovative means of transportation and styling icon, but also as the generator of fatalities, traffic and for its environmental impact.

The exhibition, which takes its name from the 1964 Oscar-nominated animation by Halas and Batchelor, will be spread over a third-floor gallery and the museum’s sculpture garden and will feature 7 vehicles from the MoMA collection. 

“Since the first automobiles hit the road over a century ago, cars have left a lasting imprint on the design of our built environment,” the museum said. “For both better and worse, they have fundamentally reshaped the ways in which we live, work, and enjoy ourselves. 

“Cars have altered our ideas about mobility, connecting us across great distances at ever greater speeds. Automania takes an in-depth look at an object that has inspired countless examples of innovation, social transformation, and critical debate among designers and artists working in varied media.”

In addition to the 7 vehicles, the exhibition will include car parts, architectural models, films, photographs, posters, paintings, and sculptures. A film program will be part of the presentation.

Museum schedules a Mustang Stampede

The Mustang Owner’s Museum is located near Charlotte, North Carolina, but it will host its Mustang Stampede in the Midwest in mid-August. 

The event begins August 11 in Dayton, Ohio. On the 12th, the Stampede visits a private car collection and then heads to the Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. On the 13th visits are scheduled for the Roush and Piquette Avenue museums. On the 14th, there’s time at The Henry Ford museum and a tour of Ford’s Rouge assembly plant.

The Stampede will take part in the annual Woodward Dream Cruise and Mustang Alley on August 15 and concludes August 16 with the Mustang Memories car show at Ford World Headquarters.

For details and to register, visit the Mustang museum website.

Mullin, Petersen offers virtual tours

Two of the Mullin Bugattis | Museum photo

Many of the nation’s car museums are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, will offer a live online tour of its collection beginning at 10 a.m. (Pacific time) on March 20. The online tour will share the stories of the cars and will feature one of the world’s largest collection of Bugatti vehicles.

The tours will be offered through the museum’s Instagram page.

Petersen will share vault tours online | Museum photo

Meanwhile, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will offer hour-long digital tours of its famed “Vault” through March 31. There will be a $3 charge for the online Vault tours. For details, visit the museum website.

In addition, while closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Gilmore Car Museum in Michigan will present its weekly lecture series on Facebook Live and on its YouTube channel.

‘Faster’ book signing postponed

Author Neil Bascomb’s Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best book tour was scheduled to visit Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, on March 28, but the tour has been canceled and likely will be rescheduled for August. Meanwhile, signed copies of the book will be available through the store and its website. 

Special events this weekend 

The following events are scheduled but you are strongly encouraged to verify with the various museums that they are still taking place.

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, offers a “Start Your Engines!” event on March 21.

Mark your calendar

March 29 is Family Sunday at the BMW Museum in Germany, where children can demonstrate their driving skills driving remote-controlled cars.

Miles Thru Time preparing for ‘soft’ reopening | Museum photo

The Miles Through Time Museum in Clarkesville, Georgia, will re-open in its new facility on April 4 but only for those who want to do self-guided tours. The planned grand re-opening and cruise-in have been postponed until a later post-virus date.

“Birds of a Feather: Studebaker Hawks” is the subject of the speaker series presentation at 1:30 p.m. April 15 at the National Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana, where museum archivist Andrew Beckman will talk about the history and evolution of the Hawk model.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, is making plans for National Mustang Day with several days of activities, including a test and tune on April 16, at Mooresville Dragway; a driver’s choice cruise to various NASCAR race shops or to a winery, distillery and brewery before the Mustang Hall of Fame induction on April 17; a “day at the museum” program on April 18; and a cruise to Mustang specialist Innovative Performance Technologies on April 19. Just confirmed will be an appearance by the 1963 Mustang II concept vehicle.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will host a special Mustang Day program on April 17 with a cruise-in car show beginning at 9 a.m., with behind-the-scenes tours and a special presentation at 1 p.m. by Shelby engineer Chuck Cantwell.

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona, Beach, Florida, hosts “An Evening with Dave Friedman” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 17. Friedman is well known for his motorsport photography, especially for his time with Shelby American.

The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, celebrates its 10th anniversary in April and starting April 17 will expand its schedule to be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, plans its first cars and coffee cruise-in of the season from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. on April 18.

The Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, opens its monthly Cruise ’N Coffee season from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 19.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, re-opens its Performance Gallery on April 22. The gallery closed on November 20 for “a much-needed refresh.” 

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia hosts the fourth annual Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance on April 24-25.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, hosts “Paint Me A Magic Bus” family activity from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 25. The program will feature a hands-on painting experience with Bob Hieronimus, artist for the original Woodstock “Light” VW bus. For details, visit the museum website.

The Spring Open House at the Lingenfelter Collection in Brighton, Michigan, is scheduled for April 25. Among the cars featured will be the 1954 Duntov “test mule,” the first Chevrolet Corvette with a V8 engine.

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, opens two new exhibits on May 7 — “a hobby gone wild” and “Wingless Wonders: Propeller Vehicles That Never Took Off.”

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, hosts its 8th annual vintage trailer show from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on June 20. New this year will be seminars and restoration tips from experts.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in North Carolina hosts a Mustang Stampede from August 11-16, but not at the museum. The event takes place in Ohio and Michigan.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email [email protected]

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.


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