Life Is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture Exhibit to Open in Ohio

Holy Toledo! 125 automobile inspired works on display at museum.

Here's a good reason to plan a road trip to Ohio next summer—the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) will open "Life Is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture," an exhibit that explores the rise of the automobile as a pop-culture icon.

The exclusive exhibition will feature 125 works from the museum's collection along with select loans from other institutions. It opens at TMA on June 15 and continues through September 15, 2019.

According to the museum, it is the first U.S. exhibition to provide an inclusive, historical overview of artists inspired by American car culture with an emphasis on the Midwest region. "Located in one of the nation's and the Midwest's leading manufacturing centers, The Toledo Museum of Art is uniquely positioned to organize this groundbreaking look at the impact and iconography of the automobile in American visual culture," said TMA director Brian Kennedy.

Some of the artists featured in the show include Thomas Hart Benton, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Judy Chicago, Catherine Opie, Richard Prince, Andy Warhol, and many more in a variety of media. Robin Reisenfeld, TMA works on paper curator, curated the upcoming Life is a Highway exhibition.

"The rich spectrum of artists and media in the exhibition represents the intensity of our experiences with automobiles over time and our evolving relationship to it as a symbol of social change. As an immersive treatment of the visual culture of automobiles, this display ensures that there will be something for everyone to discover and enjoy in the galleries," said Reisenfeld.

It looks like a show not to miss, but why Toledo? Well, a significant chunk of the town's economy has been related to the automotive industry since the beginning of the 20th century. Willys-Overland vehicles were built in Toledo starting in 1910, and GM transmissions have been assembled there since 1916. The city's most well-known product are the Jeeps that have been built there since 1940.

This sounds like the perfect excuse to rack up some miles in your favorite wheeled cultural icon to us.

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