The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is currently hosting “Automania”, an exhibition dedicated to the social, urban and environmental transformations brought about to the rise of the automobile in the 20th century. Among the cars on display are the legendary 1968 Fiat 500 F, restored and donated to the U.S. museum by the Heritage arm of Stellantis.
Automania explores the conflicting feelings—compulsion, fixation, desire and rage—that developed in response to cars and car culture in the 20th century. Curated by Juliet Kinchin, Paul Galloway and Andrew Gardner, the exhibition is housed in the third-floor galleries of MoMA (until 2 January 2022) and in the atrium and Sculpture Garden on Floor 1 (until 10 October 2021). It includes a total of nine cars from the Museum's collection, as well as components, models, films, photos, posters, paintings and sculptures.
Visitors to the Sculpture Garden are greeted by a Fiat 500 that was restored and donated to MoMA by the Heritage arm of Stellantis and became part of the latter’s permanent collection in 2017, to mark the 60th anniversary of the legendary “Cinquino”.
The car belongs to the F series, the most famous 500 and also the most mass-produced, which was in production between 1965 and 1972. Designed by Dante Giacosa and launched in 1957, the Fiat 500 was conceived as an economical car for the motorisation of the post-war European continent, starting from the idea that quality design should be accessible to all.
Sixty-four years later, the surprisingly spacious city car continues to impress: its presence at the Museum of Modern Art underlines the historical importance and symbolic value of a car that has entered the collective imagination, becoming an emblem of Italian design and style all over the world.