IS life a highway? Art exhibit on car culture says it is.

By Claes Oldenburg. Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art.

Here at StuckatTheAirport.com we love airports and air travel, but cars and road trips are a close second.

And we’re delighted to learn about the new exhibit at the Ohio’s Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) exploring the  automobile as a popular visual symbol of American culture.

Work by Don Eddy. Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art

Life Is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture includes about 125 pieces of art by 20th-century artists in a wide variety of media – including painting, sculpture, photography, film, prints and drawings.

The show will be on view at the museum through September 15, 2019.

So it looks like a good stop to add to your summer road trip.

By John Baeder. Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art.

Car culture is not only a key element of the country’s postwar boom economy of the 1950s and a symbol of freedom, individualism, renewal and middle-class prosperity, the TMA notes that cars are an inextricable part of the region’s identity:

“A significant portion of Toledo’s economy has been related to the automotive industry since the beginning of the 20th century. It is the home of two production facilities known as the Toledo Complex, an automobile factory that began assembling Willys-Overland vehicles as early as 1910. Since 1940, Jeeps have been assembled in the plant, which is now owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Powertrain Toledo, a General Motors (GM) transmission factory, was founded in 1916 and has been the production site for many of GM’s transmissions.”

By Edward Burtynsky. Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art.

Artists with car-centric work in the show range from Thomas Hart Benton and Walker Evans to Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Judy Chicago, George Segal and more than 100 others.

Stuart Davis: Landscape with Garage Lights, courtesy Toledo Museum of Art

Bonus events

In addition to the exhibition, the TMA is hosting some cool car-themed events.

There’s a film series featuring movies exploring the role of cars in American culture that includes a showing of the George Lucas classic American Graffiti in the museum parking lot on August 23. And throughout the summer, there will also be occasional car shows in front of the museum. More details here.

Work by Robert Indiana. Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art

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