Hagley Museum and Library presents its new exhibition, "Driving Desires: Automobile Advertising and the American Dream." The exhibition focuses on six traditional advertising themes used to sell cars in the twentieth century: luxury, economy, performance, style, patriotism, and safety. It asks the question: did you buy the car you needed or were you sold the car you wanted?
"'Driving Desire' contains some amazing and rate items," says Max Moeller, curator, Published Collections, at Hagley, "including the only known copy of a 1937 Lincoln V-12, with Suggested Colors and Upholsteries presentation book that was displayed in Henry Ford II's office, a 1942 promotional catalog called Mechanized Mules of Victory that touts the patriotic efforts of the Autocar Company during World War II, and a 1908 Motel T Advance Catalog issued prior to the introduction of that revolutionary automobile."
The six advertising themes are explored in separate sections of the exhibition, with original and oversized reproductions of advertisements on display, artifacts, photographs, books and manuscripts. The exhibit draws upon Hagley's Z. Taylor Vinson collection of catalogs and print advertisements for more than 1900 different automobile manufacturers dating from 1892 to 2009. "Hagley's Z. Taylor Vinson collection is considered the most comprehensive library collection of international car literature in the world," according to Moeller.
In addition to the Z. Taylor Vinson collection, "Driving Desire" includes artifacts from the collections of Ernest Dichter, a pioneer in motivational research, and Raymond Loewy, one of the top industrial designers in the twentieth century, that will be highlighted in the exhibition.
Driving Desires: Automobile Advertising and the American Dream runs from October 2, 2015 - October 2, 2016, opening daily at 10am.
Exhibition only admission is $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-14, and free for members and children 5 and under. Admission to the entire museum is $14 for adults, $5 for children 6-14, and free for members and children 5 and under.
Programming for "Driving Desire: Automobile Advertising and the American Dream"
October 10 - 1pm & 3pm, October 20 - 12pm
Curator's Gallery Talks: Join exhibition curator Max Moeller who will share with guests his favorite images, objects and stories included in the exhibition. Reservations requested. 302-658-2400 ext 261
March 26, 2016 - 1pm - 4pm
Science Saturday: Eggs Crashing: Families work together to solve science mysteries and engineering challenges. This week's program explores the physics of seatbelts, inviting families to design, build, and test a mini-car that will protect an egg. Free with admission.
May 28, 2016 - 1pm - 4pm
Science Saturday: Against the Wind: Families work together to solve science mysteries and engineering challenges. This week's program challenges families to design a car that goes fast or slow based on various aerodynamic principals. Free with admission.
June 4, 2016 - 9am - 2pm
Antique Car Road Rally: Calling all owners of antique cars to join in for an old-fashion road rally beginning and ending at Hagley. Save the date! More details available on the website in 2016.
June 25, 2016 - 10am - 4pm
Car Crazy Family Day: A day filled with family activities that celebrate the art and engineering of automobiles. Hands-on activities, special displays and tours, and engineering challenges. Free with general admission.