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High Museum of Art presents Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas

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Dream Cars

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Dream Cars will run from May 21-September 7, 2014

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High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Ga. 30309
(404) 733-4444
www.high.org

You don't have to be a "car guy" to appreciate the new exhibition at the High Museum. It is both a car show for people that don't go to car shows and an art show for people that don't usually go to museums.

Dream Cars is a "major exhibition of innovative automotive design will bring together 17 concept cars from across Europe and the U.S." I was impressed by the buzz from the crowd while visiting this show on its opening day. Some first time visitors were over heard as they exited the Arts Center Station of Marta saying, "So where is this High Museum?" The subject matter is certainly attracting plenty of attention locally, but also generating international interest according to High Museum staff.

The show's curator Sarah Schleuning provides an interesting audio guide that will help guests navigate from dream car to dream car. Children can enjoy their own version of the commentary which asks the listener rhetorical questions like, "Do cars need to be made of metal?"

While passing each car I found that each one becomes my new favorite. However after I was finished with my tour, two concept cars really made an impression. The Lancia (Bertone) Stratos HF Zero designed by Marcello Gandini looks every bit as impressive today as it did in 1970. Meanwhile, Christopher Bangle's BMW GINA Light Visionary Model (2001) looks like it drove right out of a Tron movie. When I first saw it across the museum floor I couldn't understand how it was able to reflect light like a computer graphic. It turns out that the secret is a fabric shell. The reduced weight allows it to accelerate faster than hard shelled cars.

Besides the pure spectacle of seeing beautiful works of industrial design there are also some philosophical issues to contemplate. For instance, if a reproduction is made using the same molds and engines, by the same designers years after the initial production how different is that reproduction from a "real car."

To consider this and other concept car related questions, Dream Cars is a must see in Atlanta.

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