“Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas” runs at the Midtown venue through Sept. 7.
For Sarah Schleuning, tasked with curating and crafting the showcase, this marks the culmination of a three-year haul.
“It’s been a long and fun journey,” said Schleuning, who also serves as curator of decorative arts and design at the High.
In all, 17 concept cars hailing from across the U.S. and Europe are on display in all their shiny splendor — including some of the rarest cars designed by Ferrari, Bugatti, General Motors and Porsche.
“The whole idea of the show,” Schleuning said, “is these are one-of-a-kind unique cars [and] this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity because this isn’t one person’s collection; we gathered these from all over from private and public lenders to bring here.
“It’s really about looking into the ideas behind them and what makes them so special.”
The exhibit features vehicles from the early 1930s to the 21st century. The exhibition pairs conceptual drawings, patents and scale models with the tangible products, demonstrating how their experimental designs progressively changed the automobile from an exclusively functional object into a symbol of future possibilities.
Among the highlights:
n Paul Arzens’ “L’Oeuf électrique” (1942), an electric bubble car designed by Arzens for his personal use in Paris during the German occupation.
n Marcello Gandini’s Lancia (Bertone) “Stratos HF Zero” (1970), a wedge-shaped car standing a mere 33 inches tall.
n Christopher Bangle’s BMW “GINA Light Visionary Model” (2001), which features an exterior made of fabric.
Those behind the scenes are buzzing about the reception “Dream Cars” has gotten thus far.
“It’s been overwhelmingly positive; I hear a lot of people talking about it,” said Schleuning. “These cars are really sculptural — they’re really wonderful works of art.
Terry Schaede of Union City, a lifelong car enthusiast, is among the museum patrons riding high courtesy of the exhibit.
“I love it,” he said. “I think it’s neat. You can see some of the designs and how the [designers] actually got there. It’s kind of fun.
“To see all these very different cars is unbelievable. … Most of them are old and way ahead of their time all at once.”
ON THE WEB:
For more information, visit www.high.org/Dream-Cars-Atlanta