Legendary FIAT 500 is being displayed at MoMA
“Is there art in a broomstick? Yes, says Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art, if it is designed both for usefulness and good looks.” This quote, from a 1953 Time magazine review of one of MoMA’s mid-century Good Design exhibitions, gets to the heart of a question the Museum has been asking since its inception: What is good design and how can it enhance everyday life?
Featuring objects from domestic furnishings and appliances to ceramics, glass, electronics, transport design, sporting goods, toys, and graphics, “The Value of Good Design” explores the democratizing potential of design, beginning with MoMA’s Good Design initiatives from the late 1930s through the 1950s, which championed well-designed, affordable contemporary products.
The exhibition also raises questions about what Good Design might mean today, and whether values from mid-century can be translated and redefined for a 21st-century audience. Visitors are invited to judge for themselves by trying out a few “good design” classics still in production, and exploring how, through its design stores, MoMA continues to incubate new products and ideas in an international marketplace.
One of the show stealers being displayed at MOMA is the legendary FIAT 500 which is a work of art according to MOMA in New York celebrating the 60th anniversary of the vehicle by displaying it to its visitors and members between February 10 -25, 2019. However, due to the high demand, MOMA has just informed me that they have extended the exhibit until June 25, 2019 allowing members to have a sneak preview on February 7, 2019 between 10:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m before opening the exhibit to the public. I was also told that this, sixty years young will be marking another momentous milestone by joining the permanent collection of the world’s famous modern art museum, MOMA in New York.
Let’s now find out how and where the story of this legendary vehicle began. It all began in 1957, when the first 500 model rolled off the FIAT production line in Turin, Italy. The country was striving to raise living standards, fueled by an economic boom, and the nation’s dolce vita dreams were symbolized by none other than the 500.
It was an object of desire for business travelers, mothers, young couples and blue-collar workers alike, people who previously could not afford a car, but who now had the chance to live out the dream of mobility and freedom that many of us take for granted these days. It gave people the opportunity to travel and enjoy the great outdoors, preferably with that famous canvas roof rolled down.
The 500 was a huge overnight success and became an icon of Italian manufacturing excellence around the world. Today, with six million models sold, the original legendary vehicle is being exhibited alongside famous contemporary artworks.
The original, rear-engined FIAT 500 is a design icon thanks to its distinctly recognizable rounded shape and diminutive size. Millions were made from 1957 to 1975, plenty survive, and the car has received not one but two revivals, first in 1991 in the form of the literally named Cinquecento and then with the 2007-present, retro-styled “Nuova” 500. But it’s the original that’s still worth celebrating, and a new exhibition at New York’s MoMA museum is doing just that.
The FIAT 500 is an icon of automotive history that fundamentally altered car design and production”, said Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, adding the followings: “This unpretentious masterpiece to our collection will allow us to broaden the story of automotive design as told by the Museum.”
Did you also know that MOMA offers a FREE admission to the museum on every Friday evening, 04:00-08:00 p.m during the UNIQLO Free Friday Night.