NASM Nation of Speed Exhibit Opens!

The Speed Shop area of the NASM Nation of Speed exhibit

Sports Car Art Goes to Washington D.C.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Nation of Speed exhibit opened October 14th in Washington, D.C.  According to Jeremy Kinney, the exhibit’s curator, “The new gallery explores the deep-rooted connection between people and machines through the history they made together and is unlike any exhibition you’ve seen at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.”

The Speed Shop interactive area of the new exhibit, features a nearly life sized print of my Group 44 Triumph TR4A artwork and is set up so that museum goers can experience changing a tire on a race car. The exhibit also prominently features our national fascination with fast planes as well as the technology that powered them. But hey, if you’re reading this post, it’s because you’re into cars and there are plenty to be seen in the gallery including Mario Andretti’s Indianapolis 500 winning open wheel car and a Richard Petty’s 200th win purpose-built Pontiac NASCAR racer along with a number of other important American automobiles.

From My Studio to The Smithsonian

Interactive tire change

The back story on how my art wound up in our nation’s national museum goes something like this. A little more than 3 years ago, I was sitting in my studio working on a drawing when my phone rings with a caller from the UK on the other end. The caller identifies herself as working for a design firm tasked with creating a new exhibit for the Smithsonian and would I be interested in licensing a piece of my art to them for use in the new gallery. Well, I gotta be honest here folks, I thought the call was a clever prank being pulled by one of my car pals but, kept my composure, and advised her to shoot me an email with the details and I would forward it to my intellectual property attorney (true) and we would see what could be done. We said our goodbyes and I figured that would be the last I would hear of the mysterious design firm and their project. Not so fast there bunky!

A Mystery Solved

Mere minutes later an email pops up from the aforesaid design outfit requesting a 10 year license on my Group 44 Triumph TR4A artwork. Shazzam! I immediately forwarded it to my IP guy and we were able to put a deal together in short order. All the while, I’m left wondering how in the world did some obscure illustrator make onto the radar screen of the a design firm working for the Smithsonian? It wasn’t until the exhibit was a few days away from opening that and I came up on several posts on Facebook featuring the new gallery that I was able to figure out that Jeremy Kinney, the exhibit’s curator and (TR4 owner) was the source of the original recommendation. Ah, I love a good mystery but am equally pleased to have discovered the source of this amazing opportunity.

The Nation of Speed exhibit opened on October 14th and will run continuously for the next 10 years so you have plenty of time to get yourself to our Nation’s capital.