Originating in France in the 1920s, Art Deco styling separated itself from Art Nouveau by owing inspirational credit to mechanization, industry, and
technology while maintaining the stylistic elements of established luxury. Deco gained acclaim at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes that took place in Paris. From there, it spread across the Atlantic—having
inspired such travelers as Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Ford—to influence the architecture, fashion trends, and, of course, the automobiles of the late
1920s and 1930s.
Unfortunately, the financial ramifications of the Wall Street Crash in 1929 along with those of the Great Depression shuttered one automotive manufacturer
after another and even killed off the last of the great American coachbuilders. Yet, despite these economic hardships, the cars that were produced during
this period served to drastically change the technology, construction, and language of car design forever.
From June 14 to September 15, you can see all this for yourself at the Frist Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles
celebrates 20 unique and iconic automotive examples from the period. Assembled by former Peterson Automotive Museum Director Ken Gross, the 18 cars and two
motorcycles of this collection offer a wide mix of vehicles once available for purchase, including a few super-rare specimens like the 1937 Paris Auto
Salon Delahaye 135MS Roadster as well as what may be the last remaining Jordan Model Z Speedway Ace.
You can learn more about this exhibit (including ticket information) at the . But if you can't make your way over to
Nashville just yet, you can check out images of the cars and bikes here at roadandtrack.com.