American Dreams: Classic Cars and Postwar Paintings at McNay Art Museum

Cool cars and art—what’s not to like here?

Here's something you don't see every day: an exhibition that pairs classic cars with fine art. Pairings like a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro with a 1965 painting by Edna Andrade or a 1948 Tucker Torpedo with a Robert Indiana nude from 1967 sound quite intriguing to us, and you can see them in San Antonio, Texas, at the McNay Art Museum's American Dreams: Classic Cars and Postwar Paintings.

The exhibit features 10 classic automobiles on display with paintings collected from the museum's collection and select loans; all were built or painted from the end of World War II through the mid-1970s. It was organized and curated by René Paul Barilleaux, Kate Carey, and Jackie Edwards.

Other dream cars in the exhibit include a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, 1957 Pontiac Star Chief convertible, and a 1956 Chrysler DeSoto Firedome in pink and iridescent plum factory paint.

"Underrepresented in art history and auto design, a number of women play starring roles during the era of dream cars," said McNay education head Kate Carey in a statement. "Based on his prediction that the best way to sell more cars to women would be to involve them in the design, Harley Earl—GM's styling chief—hired nine trailblazing women designers in 1955."

The art includes works by Judith Godwin, Grace Hartigan, Dorothy Hood, Joan Mitchell, Hofmann, Larry Rivers, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, and more. American Dreams is on view now through May 19.

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