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The Allure of the Automobile: Driving in Style, 1930-1965 Hardcover – April 13, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ronald T. Labaco is curator of decorative arts and design at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Ken Gross
is an award-winning author of six books and a contributor to many major automotive publications.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli; First Edition edition (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847834956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847834952
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Denis Wheary on May 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This handsome large book features 18 automobiles that Ken Gross selected for the High Museum of Art, Atlanta's eponymous 2010 art exhibit. It is a catalog for that show as well as great "coffee table" book for those of us interested in automobiles and / or design.

This NOT a general book about all automobiles, but about 18 specific cars, and these cars and their stories are quite remarkable. The photographs by Peter Harholdt were lighted to show the lines and forms against a black (or white) background, devoid of the usual sky, landscape and reflections that can often distract the viewer from an appreciation of the vehicle itself. Ronald T. Labaco, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the High Museum of Art, sets the context and makes the case for viewing these automobiles as art. Ken Gross, award winning author and former director of the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, then offers detailed insights and stories about the individual cars that are featured.

Most of the cars in the Atlanta show will travel to Portland, Oregon, for the Portland Art Museum's "The Allure of the Automobile" show June 11 - September 11, 2011. A few cars in this book won't make it to Portland, including the Mercedes-Benz 300SLR "Uhlenhaut" Coupe, but other equally unique automobiles, such as a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR racecar and the 1930 Bentley Speed Six "Blue Train Special" will be in Portland.

Addendum: The Amazon.com site shows a picture (front end of the Dubonnet) of the first edition, now apparently back in stock for a reduced price. Is this a second printing, remainder copies or a recently discovered stash? Or is Amazon.com stocking the new second edition, but hasn't changed the cover photo? I don't know.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought a copy of this lovely and informative book at the High Museum in Atlanta toward the end of the show that it documented so beautifully. The photos were extravagant and the dust jacket is so gorgeously printed I didn't want to touch it.

The only problem is that when I recently ordered a copy as a gift for a friend who is a fan of classic design I was surprised to see that the second printing, which he received, is a substantially different book from mine. Several cars, including the Delage which I thought was the best in the show, are not included in this addition and others that weren't in the show at all are now in the book. While it is still a wonderful book for fans of great auto design it isn't the superb version those of us lucky enough to have gotten it at the show now possess.
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By Lori on December 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been looking for a book like this for years. I was an art major and one of the most interesting lectures was on the leading designers from the industrial revolution being called upon to design hood ornaments to toasters. You have heard of all of them. Lalique, Tiffany, Morris etc. Their art began to be the finishing touches on many items made from the couch building era to many years beyond. Cars were no longer just functional but beautiful. This book is written from the artist's perspective and brings your attention to the design of the automobile. This automobiles highlighted coincide with the art movement from art deco to streamline moderne. Great photos and beautiful cars.
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