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Thursday, November 10 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
The Racing Car as Art and Artifact:  Interpretive Strategies, Visitor Experience, and the Ongoing Struggle for Relevance

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Around the world, several museums have treated the racing car as both artifact and work of art. In 1909, F. T. Marinetti declared the racing car as “more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace” in his Futurist Manifesto. In the 1990s, Marinetti’s claim seemed to be vindicated when the Museum of Modern Art in New York City used Marinetti’s slogan as the centerpiece for an exhibition on Ferrari Formula One cars. Dr. Paul Baxa, (Ave Maria University) will explore the question: to what extent has the automobile, and the racing car in particular, become a work of art? To many, a race car is “cool” and “fast,” and nothing more. However, the race car has limitless potential of which to teach elements of physics, chemistry, and technology to younger generations. As museums face an ongoing struggle for “relevance,” what are some modern strategies automotive museums can employ to provide focused, curriculum-driven historical interpretation in order to increase visitorship? The NASCAR Hall of Fame’s former curator, Dr. Daniel Simone, will discuss these issues. Indeed, museums have a duty to serve their communities as educational institutions. Bryan Gable, Special Collections Coordinator at Revs Institute, also stresses that historic race cars carry stories about their design and purpose. Yet, that is lost if curatorial teams fail to create interpretive strategies in order to engage visitors who are not automotive experts. As museums seek new audiences, how can the race car be repurposed to capture the attention of non-enthusiasts?

avatar for Bryan Gable

Bryan Gable

Special Collections Coordinator, Revs Institute
Bryan Gable is the Special Collections Coordinator at Revs Institute®. He assists with accessions and special exhibitions, processes various archival and image collections, and helps researchers with a variety of projects. He received his MA in Public History from the University... Read More →
avatar for Paul Baxa

Paul Baxa

Professor of History, Ave Maria University
Paul Baxa is Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department at Ave Maria University. Dr. Baxa received his doctorate at the University of Toronto specializing in the cultural history of Italian Fascism. His scholarly interests included the history of motorsport and he is... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Simone

Daniel Simone

Project Assistant, New-York Historical Society Museum & Library
Daniel J. Simone earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Florida. He then taught at Monmouth University before serving as Curator at the NASCAR Hall of Fame from 2016-2021. He is currently revising his dissertation, “Racing, Region, and the Environment: A History of American... Read More →

Thursday November 10, 2022 1:30pm - 2:30pm EST
Main Meeting Area