Object Timeline

1947

  • Work on this object began.

1957

  • Work on this object ended.

2017

2020

  • You found it!

Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1952

This is a Drawing. It is dated ca. 1952 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is color pencil, brush and gouache on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This fascinating drawing by Alan Kornmiller sheds light on the design process and presents a unique combination of sketches and designs for an automobile and its parts. At center, Kornmiller illustrates a scintillating red automobile at a three quarter angle, using shadow to simulate the ground beneath it and making the vehicle appear to be zooming out from the page. He gives particular attention to its chrome hood ornament, metallic grill, and silver dagmar bumpers. Below this polychromatic rendering, Kornmiller provides small detail sketches of the headlights, dagmars and their mechanics. The juxtaposition of the polished vehicle at the center of the drawing and the preliminary diagrams beneath emphasizes the automobile’s precision and complexity. His emphasis on the dagmars, which elongate the vehicle, also reflects the popularity of streamlined aesthetics in mid-century industrial design.

It is credited Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Its dimensions are

47 × 62.2 cm (18 1/2 × 24 1/2 in.)

It is signed

Signed in yellow color pencil, lower right: KORNMILLER

It is inscribed

Inscribed in white color pencil, left, below headlight lens drawing: HEAD LIGHT LENS - BETTER PROTECTION; in white color pencil, below headlight movement drawing: HEADLIGHT MOVES FORWARD / ON TRACK INTO POSITION FOR / NIGHT DRIVING - WHEN RETURNED, / WOULD ACT AS SCOOP-AIR INTAKE / BETTER HEAD LIGHT PROTECTION / DRIVER COULD CONTROL VENTILATION / OF CAR MAKING THIS SYSTEM PRACTICAL; in yellow color pencil, above yellow headlight drawing: HEADLIGHT COULD BECOME / PART OF BUMPER / OR BUMPERETTES / SPRINGS; in yellow color pencil, at right above yellow reversible headlight drawing: REVERSIBLE HEAD LIGHTS - GIVES ADDED / LENGTH TO CAR - ADDED PROTECTION / FOR HEADLAMP - AIR SCOOP UNDER / HEAD LIGHT BECOMES PRACTICAL

Cite this object as

Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1952; color pencil, brush and gouache on paper; 47 × 62.2 cm (18 1/2 × 24 1/2 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2017-18-24

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108806809/ |title=Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1952 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=5 July 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>