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Utah Museum of Fine Arts Presents Speed - DrivingScene

Categorized | Events

Utah Museum of Fine Arts Presents Speed

Posted on 06 July 2012 by Adam Kaslikowski

While many of us enthusiasts find automobiles to be utterly beautiful and lust-worthy pieces of art, those in the capital “a” Art world have generally not agreed. One of the (many) definitions of art is that it can have no actual use other than beauty, and thus cars do not qualify. The curators at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, however, are our kind of people. The UMFA recently launched an exhibit dedicated solely to breathtaking machines from the past that all have a unique quality of beauty that makes each of them art. Keep reading to learn more…

Called Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile, the exhibit showcases 19 vehicles whose sole purpose was to go as quickly as possible. From Bonneville to Le Mans, from 1904 to 1975, and from Duesenberg to RenaultĀ  the automotive pantheon is well represented at this event. The 19 vehicles on show are spread across 4 galleries, each with it’s own theme including the golden age of racing and race cars for the road. One of the most appreciated aspects of the show is how close you can get to each of these magnificent and historical cars – but of course the museum stewards are on the watch to make sure you don’t get too close. The exhibit is a relaxing stroll through time that will no doubt give you ideas for your next project and let you see firsthand many of the small details that made some of the first race cars so special.

Not content to merely showcase some of the worlds most well crafted machines, the UMFA has also lined up a series of automotive movies that they are showing in their auditorium. You’ve already missed Steve McQueen’s Le Mans, but you can still catch Senna, Boys of Bonneville, and more. There is also a lecture series throughout the show ranging from discussing the exhibit’s cars to the rebuilding of a classic salt flats racer.

But by far the biggest coupe that the museum has pulled is in arranging for car aficionado and TV host Jay Leno to come for a conversational event on July 14. Jay will be joining the show’s curator (and all-around car guy) Ken Gross to discuss barn-finds, driving pace cars, everything else under the automotive sun. There is also a special event with Jay that involves a walk-through of the exhibit and a special showing of all the cars’ engines. If you’re a fan of Jay Leno’s Garage, you should mark your calendar for this one.

The exhibit lasts until Sept. 16th and is a must see for any local enthusiast. For more information, head to speedumfa.com or the museum itself, located at the University of Utah. To whet your appetite, we’ve included a gallery of the machines below, but trust us when we say that these cars can only truly be appreciated in person.

– Adam Kaslikowski
Photo Credit: (c) Peter Harholdt

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