There’s Now A Fiat 500 On Display At The Museum of Modern Art In New York
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is now showing this Fiat 500 F in the “The Value of Good Design” exhibition, which will run until June 15, 2019, and tells the story of industrial design through the works of the MoMA collection. The museum acquired the car in 2017 and announced the exhibition in 2018, but this is the first time it’s been seen by the public. The 500 on display is a Series F, arguably the best-known version, which was built from 1965 to 1972; with the other versions (Sport, D, L, R), more than 4 million of the “Nuova” 500s were built from 1957 to 1975. With its clever design and rear-engined layout it could comfortably seat four adults within its tiny bodywork, and it included plenty of clever touches, such as the folding fabric sunroof, which was perceived as a luxury touch but actually minimized the use of then-expensive steel.
It was designed by engineer Dante Giacosa, who joined Fiat in 1927 and stayed until 1970, responsible for many of the company’s most important designs. He designed the original 500 “Topolino” as well as the 500 “Nuova”, which was conceived as an affordable car for post-war Europe, working to the concept that high-quality design should be accessible to all. The Value of Good Design exhibition celebrates this, exploring the democratizing potential of design. It begins with MoMA’s Good Design initiatives from the late 1930s through the 1950s, which championed well-designed, affordable contemporary products. It questions what Good Design might mean today, and whether values from mid-century can be translated and redefined for the 21st century.
Images courtesy of Fiat