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Object Timeline

1932

  • Work on this object began.

2017

  • We acquired this object.

  • You found it!

  • We photographed this object.

Drawing, Concept Car, 1932

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Walter Sprink. It is dated 1932 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is brush and gouache, pen and ink, crayon, graphite on illustration board. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This charming automobile design by commercial artist Walter Sprink presents an unusual form for a private automobile. The sloping roofline, rounded front, and pointed tail end of the vehicle resemble shapes more commonly associated with contemporary public transit vehicles such as trains and buses. Working in Akron, Ohio, Sprink may have been influenced by designs produced there by the Goodyear Zeppelin Company, which included Zeppelins and comet trains with similar formal traits.
While the shape may seem uncommon, the highly reflective black exterior is more characteristic of 1930s automobiles. Sprink cleverly used the black automotive body as a mirror, showcasing a beautiful twilight landscape surrounding the driver. Driving was still considered a leisure activity at the time, and Sprink’s skillful combination of inventive automotive styling and the appeal of sightseeing and vacation would have made this concept car most attractive to potential consumers.

This object was purchased from Leo Brereton and agent: Hampton Wayt and fund: General Acquisitions Endowment and purchased with funds from: Paul Herzan and catalogued by Julia Pastor. It is credited Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

  • Drawing, Concept Car, 1953
  • color pencil, graphite on paper.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions....
  • 2017-18-6

Its dimensions are

22.9 × 36.8 cm (9 in. × 14 1/2 in.)

It is inscribed

Inscribed in graphite, upper left: Designed by / WALTER SPRINK / NOV. 5, 1932 AD

Cite this object as

Drawing, Concept Car, 1932; Designed by Walter Sprink (American, 1910 - 1974); brush and gouache, pen and ink, crayon, graphite on illustration board; 22.9 × 36.8 cm (9 in. × 14 1/2 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2017-18-3

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108797965/ |title=Drawing, Concept Car, 1932 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=19 August 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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