“Are We There Yet?” [Indiana USA]

The IU News Room reports that the rare books, manuscripts, and special collections library-The Lilly Library at the Indiana University’s Libraries, Bloomington has launched an exhibition entitled “Are We There Yet? The Age of the Automobile.”  As you can deduce it’s all about cars- you won’t see the real life models of course, but photographs, vintage catalogues, books and miscellaneous materials ought to satisfy the curious and the driven (pun intended). And, in this era of financial gloom where the car manufacturers are hitting the brakes (another pun intended) it’s worthwhile to be reminded of a bit of car history, from luxury roadsters to the first Indianapolis 500.

 “The automobile is such a part of our national identity,” said Becky Cape, head of public services at the Lilly Library, “and yet the industry is in crisis. It’s especially interesting to revisit auto history not only in Indiana but also around the world.”

According to IU News Room the exhibition features:

 …automobile catalogues and ephemera from the collection of Thomas T. Solley. Solley, a grand-nephew of J. K. Lilly, Jr., was director of the Indiana University Art Museum from 1971 to 1986. The exhibition features some of the earliest automobile catalogues, including luxury automobile sales catalogues which were often works of art.

Much work and thought have gone into the collection,

Solley’s collection for example shows how luxury car catalogues became an art form at the end of the 19th century. Increasingly competition among car manufacturers saw the publication of catalogues enhanced with lithography, photo-mechanical reproduction and special leather-tooled bindings to lure prospective buyers.

Not familiar with Indiana and its car history? Here’s some trivia: in the early 20th century, Indiana was at the centre of the automobile industry, producing more than 250 makes of cars in more than 40 Indiana cities and towns.

Interested? The exhibition runs from May 26 to September 5, 2009.

 

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5 Responses to ““Are We There Yet?” [Indiana USA]”

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