Gordon Strong Automobile Objective and Planetarium (unbuilt) Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland, 1924–25
Coloured pencil on tracing paper
50.8 x 78.7 cm
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives
(The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)
© 2022 The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona
© Frank Lloyd Wright, VEGAP, Bilbao, 2022
In the post war economic boom years of the 1950s and 1960s the technical demands of competitive racing— particularly Formula 1—saw racing and road automotive design diverge further into separate design disciplines. The market for fast sports cars expanded and drew on the technology of their racing counterparts.
The five examples selected are each in their own way a delight to behold, quite aside from their racing pedigrees on roads and closed circuits. They merge art and fashion to satisfy the fantasy of speed and adventure—glamorous and desirable as objects of contemporary culture. The most emblematic examples became powerful images on the big screen, emulating the Hollywood stars in their degree of celebrity.
These automobiles were portrayed as cult objects by artists and designers such as Andy Warhol and Ken Adam. In his lifetime, Frank Lloyd Wright owned more than eighty cars—many of which are classics and are featured in this exhibition. His unbuilt project in 1925 for Gordon Strong, the “Automobile Objective” shown here, was the first use of a central spiralling ramp which would later be the central feature of his Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
*As of August 24th, the Ferrari 250 GTO, 1962 will be substituted for the Ferrari 250MM Berlinetta Carrera Panamericana, 1953