Let’s Hit the Road Again — Experience the Era

Celebrating America’s love affair with the automobile — a book for your car loving friends

Let’s Hit the Road Again, our new book and traveling exhibition explores the car’s impact on American life and society and  celebrates America’s love affair with the automobile. 

During the first decades of the 20th century, the automobile transformed the way we live.

For the first time, people  could now hop into their cars, hit the road and escape from the places and circumstances that bound them.  The car gave people freedom – freedom to travel, freedom to explore, freedom to experience new ways of living.


The automobile transformed America — where we live, how we work, how we travel, what the cities and suburbs look like, our environment – all have been profoundly shaped by the car.

In Let’s Hit the Road Again artists from around the world have recycled discarded metal wheel coverings and hubcaps  — and turned them into fascinating and sometimes controversial artworks.

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Take a  trip down memory lane and enjoy how 149 artists from the LandfillArt Collection  have celebrated this unique era .

……… As long as art has existed, some of it has pushed people to look beyond their comfort zones …….  And this book and exhibition will  open your eyes a little wider.

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Artists have long used junkyards and trash heaps as source material.  By taking something discarded, they turned it into something beautiful, compelling or provocative.

The artists represented in the LandfillArt Collection,  have become a community encouraging and supporting the creative reuse and recycling of the earth’s resources.   The artists have explored the potential of re-using materials –   in their hands, workroom scraps, broken dishes, and even recycled paint have become art.  They have turned the ordinary into the extraordinary!

With such a diversity of creative expressions and mediums, the artists created a body of work, that makes us pause, ponder, and plan to make a difference in our own world.

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The following are a few of the surprises and stories that await you in Let’s Hit the Road Again

Title of Artwork: Route 66 Revisited, by Thom Roslan

The book explores the lore and popular culture that surrounds some of the iconic cars, and the well- known highways and byways.  Several highways became outright legends on their own. 

Often called “The Mother Road,” Route 66 became one of the most famous roads in the US.  It originally ran from Chicago, before ending in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). 

US 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and the road supported the economies of the communities it passed through.

It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” and  the Route 66 television show in the 1960s. The song “Get your kicks on Route 66.”became a monument to long-distance car travel..

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Highway 61 North –  known as the “Blues Highway,” rivaled Route 66 as the most famous road in American music lore.  It was a major transit route out of the Deep South particularly for African Americans traveling north to Chicago, St Louis and Memphis.

The highway has a long musical history, being the supposed location where singer-songwriter Robert Johnson made a deal with the Devil for his successes.  The road later gave its name to Minnesota native Bob Dylan’s album Highway 61 Revisited.

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At its height, one in every six working Americans worked directly for the automobile industry, and Detroit was its epicenter.

Henry Ford in his own words……

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”

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Cars of the Stars.   The high end automobiles, such as the Cadillac and Mercedes, became status symbols and were popular with celebrities, and  Hollywood stars. 

By 1910, Cadillac was the first manufacturer to mass-produce cars with enclosed cabins.  They invented climate control.  By 1964, everything on your Caddy could be controlled by thermostat, the first vehicle to ever offer such a cool ride.

The fascinating story behind Al Capone’s infamous getaway car – a Cadillac – that was custom built for him.   The gangster commissioned several armoured cars, but the most famous was a 1928 Cadillac – and thought to be one of the first cars to have body armour and bulletproof glass.

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The Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol, owned by many Hollywood stars and celebrities.  Most of the royalty of the world had at least one Pierce-Arrow in its collection. 

Actor Sessue Hayakawa, from the film Bridge on the River Kwai, drove a custom-ordered gold-plated Pierce-Arrow.

In 1909, U.S. President William Howard Taft ordered two Pierce-Arrows to be used for state occasions.

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Many television celebrities were used in car marketing. 

One of the most successful was Dinah Shore .  She was one of the first television celebrities whose name became synonymous with a product   — and during the 50s and early 60s, she was probably most responsible for putting Chevrolet automobiles in the driveways of millions. 

On her TV show she sang “the Chevy jingle” and the song became an anthem for the era; a tune approaching patriotic status.  By 1962-63 Chevy sales alone were more than 2 million a year, and all of the General Motors in those years amounted to half of all vehicles sold in the U.S.

Groucho Marx was another who became identified with a car make.  DeSoto sponsored the popular television game show You Bet Your Life from 1950 – 1958, in which host Groucho Marx urged viewers to visit a DeSoto dealer with the phrase “tell ’em Groucho sent you“, and to “drive a DeSoto before you decide“.  The DeSoto was named for Hernando de Soto to symbolize travel, adventure and pioneering.

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Title of Artwork: Chief, by James Dobney

Why Does Pontiac use an Indian as their symbol.   The earliest Pontiac logos, show a side view of a Native American with a distinctive headdress.  

Pontiac,  or Obwandiyag (c. 1720 – 1769) was an Odawa war chief who led Native Americans in a struggle against British military occupation of the Great Lakes region. 

Pontiac’s War began in May 1763 when Pontiac and 300 followers attempted to take Fort Detroit by surprise.  They laid siege to the fort, where they were joined by more than 900 warriors from a half-dozen tribes.

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Title:  Chevy to the Levee, By Guinotte Wise

America’s love affair with the automobile was most evident in the music of the era.  

The Day Music Died …. 

So bye-bye, Miss American Pie, Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die, This’ll be the day that I die.”   

Chevy to the levee” is from  “American Pie,” which topped America’s music charts in 1972. Singer and songwriter Don McLean wrote it to mourn the death of three musicians in a 1959 airplane crash. Those who perished the “day the music died” included Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Jiles Perry Richardson Jr., “the Big Bopper.” The song’s familiar chorus is now part of American pop culture.

“Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.”  –Janis Joplin

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The Volkswagen Beetle is arguably the most recognized industrial product shape ever produced.

But more than that, it has endured for generations, becoming a part of many families’ cultural history.

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The Jeep

The Jeep is the oldest four-wheel drive mass-production vehicles now known as SUVs.

“You know it’s important to have a Jeep in Los Angeles. That front wheel drive is crucial when it starts to snow on Rodeo Drive.” –Christopher Guest

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Tail Fins and the Designers

With America’s passion for the jet age in the 1950s, the public was obsessed with the need to go fast. 

During the 1960s American automobiles came to resemble the jet with it’s tail fins.  Large tailfins,  designs reminiscent of rockets, and radio antennas that imitated Sputnik were common, due to the efforts of design pioneers such as Harley Earl.  So before the 1950s and 1960s were over,  designers were adding fins to every car they could.

“Dad called General Motors designer Harley Earl’s designs “chrome-plated barges,” .. he said that, if left to his own devices, Harley Earl would put fins on a TV or refrigerator.”   Raymond Loewy

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vision of the Future

Frank Lloyd Wright had three loves:   cars, architecture and the American landscape.  His annual road trips to Taliesin helped him refresh his architectural perspectve and vision.  And gave him a clear view of the country’s changing landscape, and how automobiles were transforming American society.

In his architectural projects, he designed many car-influenced  structures that included a filling station, a self-service parking garage, a “paradise on wheels housing project,” and, of course, his Jaguar showroom in New York City.

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If you would like a digital pdf copy of the entire 180 page book, you can order it here for $9.95, by clicking on the button below that will take you to paypal. When your payment is credited, I will then send you the pdf via wetransfer.

Thank you for your interest




Book Title: Lets Hit the Road Again
Book Title:  Lets Hit the Road AgainAuthor: Shirley Reiff Howarth
184 pages, 230 illustrations
ISBN: 978–0–943488-27-1 Paperback
ISBN: 978–0–943488-26-4 Hardbound
Published in the United States of America
Book layout and design ©2019 The Humanities Exchange / Shirley Reiff Howarth
Website: : www.humanities-exchange.org
email:  exhibitions@humanities-exchange.orgAvailable from The Humanities Exchange,  Shirley Reiff Howarth,
2840 West Bay Drive, # 250, Belleair Bluffs, Florida 33770
Copies can be ordered from the Humanities Exchange website at:
http://humanities-exchange.org/

Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations,  associations, and others. For details, contact the address above.

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You can see a full 180 page preview, with over 230 photographs by clicking on the photograph below: Order single copies of the softbound or hardbound book from the preview by clicking on the shopping cart at the top of the preview page


Let’s Hit the Road Again

By Shirley Reiff Howarth

 

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Multple copies are available at a discount price: over 10 copies with a 30% ciscount, and over 20 copies for a 40% discount — contact me for an invoice and shipping costs — publications@humanities-exchange.org

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If you would like a digital pdf copy of the entire 180 page book, you can order it here for $9.95, by clicking on the button below that will take you to paypal. When your payment is credited, I will then send you the pdf via wetransfer.

Thank you for your interest




Book Title: Lets Hit the Road Again

Author: Shirley Reiff Howarth
184 pages, 230 illustrations
ISBN: 978–0–943488-27-1 Paperback
ISBN: 978–0–943488-26-4 Hardbound
Published in the United States of America
Book layout and design ©2019 The Humanities Exchange / Shirley Reiff Howarth
Website: : www.humanities-exchange.org
email: exhibitions@humanities-exchange.org

Available from The Humanities Exchange, Shirley Reiff Howarth,
2840 West Bay Drive, # 250, Belleair Bluffs, Florida 33770
Copies can be ordered from the Humanities Exchange website at:
http://humanities-exchange.org/

Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the address above.

Title: Sky High and Riding Low, by Susan Hammond

“I pesently own a Chrysler 300, and each time I drive to work in New York City I pass the beautiful Chrysler Building  I chose to create a hubcap showing antique Chryslers as well as the historic Chrysler Building.”   — Susan Hammond

 

How Art Can Transform A Hospital

 

Wonderland Aspen, 2014, by Albert Delamour, Metallic C-Print. Recent acquisition.

Art:  The Cure for the Hospital Environment

For quite some time,  hospitals and medical centers have been incorporating art into their facilities.  Art transforms the environment and fosters a life-affirming, restorative and supportive environment that helps the patients, their families, caregivers, students, faculty and the community.

One of the most innovative is the art program initiated in 2014 by the Montefiore University Hospital for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, New York.


The Fine Art Collection

Cut Flowers by Babette Bloch, 2016, Stainless steel

Using laser-cut and water jet-cut stainless steel, Bloch challenges the limitations of metalwork. Her art seems organic and weightless, allowing for her natural themes to shine and reflect their surrounding environment. Through her use of story-telling, Bloch’s works expand on the landscapes that they exist within. The poetic transformation and reinvention of steel brings life to Bloch’s work on a larger than life scale.


The Fine Art Collection has been assembled through acquisitions, commissions, exhibitions, donations of art and other related visual arts programming.

Curated Projects

Curated programs are installed in various locations throughout the hospital system. Whether it’s a lobby, an administrative office, or patient areas, there is great care to select appropriate artwork for each space.

The program is conttinually adding to the collection as well as arworks for the ARTViews Galleries. For Artists: Montefiore is seeking to purchase original artwork for key public locations at multiple medical center locations. This call is open to all artists working and/or residing in the Bronx as well as the tri-state area (NY/NJ/CT).

The Art Program is also seeking seeking artwork for the ARTViews Gallery, and the Gallery in the Gardens, which are rotating exhibition spaces. The spaces  exhibit original artwork and is open to all artists living and/or working in the Bronx. The goal of the  rotating exhibition program  is to enrich the lives of the patients, caregivers, associates, students, faculty and the community’s understanding of contemporary art in a medical center context. See the website for more information on applying.

https://montefiorefineartprogram.squarespace.com/contact/

 


Innovation Lab Programs and New Experiences for Patients

In addition to these more traditional aspects of the art program of collecting and exhibitions, the Montetfiore is exploring new ways of working  with artists.

The truly innovative art programs that have been initiated at the Montfieore Medical Center are developments in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

As Montefiore continues to advance state-of-the-art healthcare, the Fine Art Program brings patients the newest in digital technology to distract, minimize pain, and showcase contemporary art in a way never done before in a hospital setting.

The Augmented Reality Collection

Augmented Reality or AR, is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.

Working with fine artists across the country, the AR Collection purchases and commissions artworks that exist only in AR. These pieces become a collection within a collection as patients can use their mobile devices to find a whole new world of art during their hospital experience.

The Virtual Reality Fine Art Program and Collection

The first of its kind to commission fine artists solely in virtual reality and for the benefit of patients. Working with the latest technology, the program seeks to replace opioids and pain with culturally enriched, site-specific experiences for our patients like never seen before.

Last year, the Montefiore’s Fine Arts Department received the Innovation in Healthcare Award from the annual Corporate Art Awards, sponsored by Luiss Business School in Rome.


Contact Information:  Jodi Moise, Curator,

Olivia Davis, Assistant Curator

Location  90 East 210th Street, Bronx, NY 10467

718-920-7671 ; 914.263.3685 cell
jmoise@montefiore.org

 

2016 © KEN SHUNG Laurel Porcari’s installation
We Are Stardust at Weiler Hospital (aka Einstein Hospital) in the Bronx, N.Y. commissioned by Jodi Moise ,Montefiore
The University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine  

Galeries Lafayette and Artist Collaborations

New Anticipations in Paris

 

 

The art news coming from Paris during the past month has been filled with descriptions of the new art center that the Galeries Lafayette has opened in the Marais district.

“Anticipations,” as it is called, is meant to cover the broad scope of expectations —from the anticipation of what new work could be created next, to the Fondation Galeries Lafayette’s attempt to anticipate artists’ needs, and even to the larger notion of anticipating the future of the planet.  According to Guillaume Houzé, the President of Galeries Lafayette, the combination of retail and art has been part of the retail company since it was founded by his great-grandfather, Theophile Bader, 106 years ago.


“Only creation can consider the movement of an era in its diversity and thus carry us continually to new horizons.”   Guillaume Houzé

“We created the Galeries Lafayette Corporate Foundation as a tool for advancing the conversation in our era and participating in the major social debates through the applied and visual arts. Guillaume Houzé


What makes this artcenter different from Paris’s many other foundations is its commitment to showing new work as well as its interdisciplinary focus. When the Galeries Lafayette was founded 120 years ago, it was a time when all the disciplines including design, arts and crafts, and applied art were seen as more fluid. Accordingly, the foundation will be offering the  opportunity for designers, artists, performers, and fashion creators to mix disciplines and processes, as part of a general inquiry into the practices of creation — which will  lead to a better understanding of contemporary times.

The facade of the original building has been preserved.

The Fondation d’Entreprise Galeries Lafayette, run by the French retail chain, commissioned Rem Koolhaas to renovate the historical building at 9 rue du Plâtre, that will be headquarters for the foundation’s cultural arm. The Marais building was erected in 1891 by the architect Samuel Mejot de Dammartin.

Not disturbing the exterior of the 19th century structure, Koolhaas and his firm OMA converted its central courtyard into a steel and glass exhibition tower, fitted with a mobile flooring system that offers 875 square meters of flexible exhibition space. The four independently moving platforms can be rearranged in more than forty different configurations depending on the project, and a 350-square-meter production workshop in the basement offers a space for guest artists to conceive and create work.

Lafayette Anticipations plans three or four exhibitions a year, along with conferences and performances. “The public will discover new works by international creators from the fields of contemporary art, design and fashion,” according to Houzé.

Every three years, the foundation plans to invite guest curators from abroad. On the Lafayette Anticipations curatorial team is Charles Aubin, a French curator based in New York who is also involved with Performa; Anna Colin, an independent curator based in the UK; and the Dutch-Moroccan curator Hicham Khalidi.

The foundation’s managing director, François Quintin, previously worked as curator of contemporary art at the Fondation Cartier, and for seven years headed a contemporary art center in the French regions, FRAC de Champagne-Ardenne. He also directed the commercial gallery Xippas for three years. 

The inaugural exhibit by artist Lutz Bacher (the US conceptual artist’s first exhibition in France) was conceived specifically for the entire building, highlighting the verticality of the building, exploring the structure’s symbolic elevation, and focusing in particular on the central void constructed by its architect.

The exhibition, “The Silence of the Sea,” is an architectural intervention involving sound, light and transparent films, focused on the surfaces of the building such as window reflections and bare walls.  The title references a novel written by a member of the French Resistance during World War II, which was secretly published in German-occupied Paris and is now a major text of French literature. (until April 30),

Space for Visiting Artists

On the lowest level is an experimental production workshop that provides a space for guest artists to work on new projects. The Foundation supplies tools to support their creation, production and dissemination. Artists can apply to use this workshop where works can be fabricated. Acccoding to Houzé “Artists can work here and show them in the building, or show them elsewhere. Between 2013 and 2016, we did a lot of co-production with other institutions such as the Tate in London and the New Museum in New York.”

The Corporate Art Collection

The Lafayette collection, known as the Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin, is not going to be displayed in the Marais space. The Fonds de dotation, which operates as a separate entity, has acquired more than 300 pieces by artists such as Anne Imhof and Wu Tsang.