The Museum of Modern Art is still not getting any cars



Illustration for the article titled The Museum of Modern Art Still Don't Get Cars

photo: The Museum of Modern Art, Robert Gerhardt

The latest exhibition from the prestigious New York Museum of Modern Art shows a Volkswagen Type 1, a Cisitalia, an E-Type, a Citroën DS, a 911 from 1967, a Willys Jeep, a Smart Fortwo, an original Fiat 500 and one from Alain Cheers to F1 cars. Eurocentric, a lot, MoMA?

Well, I should initiate that by saying that MoMA is the only cultural institution in New York City that I pay an annual fee to help out because I like MoMA and I like modern art and I like the member previews who take you away from the hordes of tourists and because rich people (not me) like to support the cultural institutions of this great city, many of which are nominally free, unlike MoMA. Still, when I got wind of this new exhibition – called automaniawhich opened on Sunday – I knew from the start that it was going to be bad.

It’s not because the cars are bad – MoMA’s Cisitalia 202 GT is one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen in person; the Type 1 is the tallest or second tallest car of all time, depending on how you count; and the E-Type is, well, the E-Type – more because the cars are boring, the equivalent of how the MoMA puts Starry Night, a Picasso and a Jackson Pollock in one room and calls it Art Mania and stuff pretends to be they did something new.

Because the truth is, MoMA has hardly tried; this collection is classic rock, and I love Stairway To Heaven as much as everyone else, but I’ve heard it ten million times. A 1967 911? I’m surprised MoMA doesn’t have a C3 and a DeLorean too.

Well, aside from a focus on European cars that dates back to the first MoMA auto show in 1951, they could have a show that “reflects the organizers’ belief that in Europe, where a car is a luxury rather than a necessity, Design still “has some qualities of a fine art.” “First of all, I’m not even sure that was what they said about tail fins back then, but they were a real attempt to look good back then. Also, in 1951, Asian automakers weren’t the force they are today, but judging by this exhibition, it’s unclear whether MoMA’s curators are now aware that something has changed.

I mean why no LFA? Why not a Ford GT40? Why not a First generation Corvair? Why not a Cord 812? Why not an Eldorado? Why not a Miata? Why not a … Model X? Or why not none of this and instead a whole thing about the good kei cars? I’m not sure why the Smart Fortwo is in the MoMA’s collection, but I think MoMA doesn’t know either.

The Cisitalia 202 GT can stay. What a car! Please don’t hesitate to sell the rest, MoMA. They know how to reach out to me if you need help choosing replacements when membership renewal emails are an alert. I mean, I enjoyed the exhibit the way it was when I went on Saturday – if your in the New York area it’s not a terrible way to spend 30 minutes – but let’s actually try next time , MoMA, as I know you are capable. Because that is about to be insulted. Many Thanks!


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