March 6–July 3, 2005

Speed, Style, and Beauty

Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection

More than any other modern artifact, the automobile dramatically changed the way we live. Like any art form, car design reflects changes in fashion, technology, and societal attitudes. In its first exhibition devoted to car design, the MFA displays sixteen magnificent automobiles from the collection of world-renowned designer and car enthusiast Ralph Lauren, featuring some of history’s most memorable cars.

Particularly noteworthy is a 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe (above). Its elegance is nearly matched, though, by the celebrated “Count Trossi” Mercedes-Benz SSK from 1930, with its flamboyant swept-back fenders and tapered tail. Complementing these pre-war beauties are sleek racers from the 1950s and ’60s, including an example of the legendary Jaguar XKD; a sporty Porsche 550 Spyder; and famed models from the house of Ferrari, such as the 250 Testa Rossa and the GTO.

The line and shape of these cars are no less impressive than the works of brilliant sculptors; viewers will be amazed by the wealth of detail to be found in the wheels, grills, and even the gas caps. Enjoy a wonderful opportunity to admire some of this past century’s finest automotive design.


This exhibition was co-sponsored by Merrill Lynch. Media sponsor is CBS4.