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The Fiat 500: a work of art according to MoMA in New York

The 500 celebrates 60th anniversary in famous modern art museum

4 july 2017

The Fiat 500 still retains its appeal after six decades. And now it is on display in the United States


The 500 is sixty years young and is marking this momentous milestone by joining the permanent collection of the world's most famous modern art museum, MoMA in New York. 

After all, the Fiat 500 è is a legend that has spanned eras, fashions and 60 years of history. The anniversary is being marked with other events and features, including an interview with Mirella Rovatti, the model who starred in the car’s first advertising campaign.

It all began in 1957, when the first 500 model rolled off the Fiat production line in Turin, Italy. The country was striving to raise living standards, fuelled by an economic boom, and the nation’s dolce vita dreams were symbolised by none other than the 500.

Watch the video

It was an object of desire for business travellers, mothers, young couples and blue-collar workers alike, people who previously could not afford a car, but who now had the chance to live out the dream of mobility and freedom that many of us take for granted these days. It gave people the opportunity to travel and enjoy the great outdoors, preferably with that famous canvas roof rolled down.



The 500 was a huge overnight success and became an icon of Italian manufacturing excellence around the world. Today, with six million models sold, the original legendary vehicle is being exhibited alongside famous contemporary artworks.

"The Fiat 500 is an icon of automotive history that fundamentally altered car design and production", said Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA ". Adding this unpretentious masterpiece to our collection will allow us to broaden the story of automotive design as told by the Museum".

This truly is a tremendous milestone for a car that has never ceased to amaze throughout its 60-year history.

Keep up to date with all the news, events and insights from the Heritage universe.