Cast In Chrome: The Art Of Hood Ornaments

Date(s) - 04/09/2020 - 10/04/2020
12:00 am

Frick Pittsburgh


This exhibition explores the relationship between car makes and hood ornament designs, including the artists who sculpted these miniature works of art.

Hood ornaments began as decorative radiators caps that measured the heat of the water vapor, rather than the water itself. By the 1920s, they became a focal point for automobile personalization. Today only a few luxury brands continue the tradition.

The popularity of these adornments was not lost on manufacturers, who saw an opportunity for branding, creating factory hood ornaments associated with specific makes and models.

The exhibition is organized thematically, with sections devoted to the female figure, animals, mythology, art-deco-inspired motifs and the great space race — when airplanes and rockets made their way onto hoods. Each theme will be accompanied by a featured automobile marque from the 1920s or 1930s, a selection of illustrative hood ornaments and clothing from the period.

7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15208 United States