The beginning of Automotive sculptures mirrors the development of the automobile itself. The sculptures that came out of the 1890’s and early 1900’s in Europe and America and the artwork were mainly commissioned by race organizers and manufacturers as trophies and awards. Those early pieces were orientated towards usage rather than collection to glorify the product, the driver or the event.
Those early pieces were primarily made of bronze but also stones or ceramic and a few even in sterling silver or gold. With the automobile being a new innovation, a few artists decided to create 3 dimensional items for decoration.
Using the same materials, a few bronze, ceramic and even pot metal sculptures started to appear in galleries and department stores as decorative objects celebrating the new invention.
At the same time manufacturers and automobile owners started to personalize the temperature gauge on top of their radiators. Some elaborate motor-meters started to appear with figures and wings created by sculptors.
As the temperature gauges moved inside the car to the dashboard, mascots or hood ornaments replaced them and well known sculptors got involved and created mini sculptures such as Frederick Bazin, René Lalique, Rembrandt Bugatti, just to name a few.
Many artists were commissioned to do mascots for many different manufacturers and also for special interest groups mainly made in bronze or pot metals and often nickel or chrome plated.
René Lalique and a few others used glass or crystal. As mascots disappeared from the front of the automobile, trophies and awards kept being generated and a few sculptors in the U.S. and Europe in the 1970’s started creating decorative and commemorative sculptures.
Stanley Wanlass in the U.S. and Emmanuel Zurini in Europe are two of the pioneers of this decorative art as cars themselves became more and more highly collectible and you started seeing more and more of those sculptures that captured moments in automotive history, racing and design.
As personal garages, private car museums, man caves and now car condos became more popular a larger demand grew. You now also see limited edition sculptures made out of resin.
Today also some of those large sculptures in 1/1 scale have found their way outdoors in the middle of a car collector’s lawn or at the entrance of an automobile museum or at the entrance of a race track as they are robust and very decorative.
You can see more automotive sculptures on our website at www.arteauto.com
by Jacques Vaucher
For Linkage Magazine
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The Louis Vuitton/Razzia Connection.
Louis Vuitton probably does not really need any introduction. It is a pretty well known name, originally recognized for their luxury luggage with the famous LV monogram.
The Holiday Season is in full swing, so we wanted to share a little Historical Holiday Cheer from all of us at l'art et l'automobile. Though it may seem like the tradition of spraying champagne after a race is as old as motor sport itself, the story has more intricate roots. It all began in 1967, when Dan Gurney started the tradition that has graced and stained countless podiums began.