Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Salute to Exner

Virgil Max Exner, Sr. 1909-1973
On September 29th, 2007 fans of design legend Virgil Exner gathered in South Bend, Indiana on the campus of Notre Dame University. Months of planning by Virgil Exner, Jr. resulted in this once in a lifetime opportunity to see show cars, rare production vehicles and original design drawings from Exner, Sr's historic career.

Peter Grist

The day began with a car exhibition and book signing by biographer Peter Grist. Having been published just weeks earlier, this was the first opportunity for many to get a copy of Virgil Exner: Visioneer. Grist spent years gathering the back story to Exner's life and has written an amazing, well rounded account of the designer and the man. As images of Exner's life were projected on a screen, cars representing Virgil Exner's design career took the spotlight.

1957 Chrysler 300C

1964 Mercer Cobra

1965 Bugatti 101 C

1971 Stutz Blackhawk

1954 Plymouth Belmont

1961 Dual Ghia

1955 Dodge LaFemme

1957 Plymouth Belvedere

More examples of Exner's original art and design drawings were on display at the Snite Art Museum where a lecture by Peter Grist and Virgil Exner, Jr capped off the day-long celebration.

While attending the Exner event, I had the opportunity to visit Charlie Hayes' jaw-dropping collection of Exner era studio drawings. Although I saw pieces of his collection on display earlier, some of the drawings were just too big to move.

To complement the art collection, Charlie has gone so far as to furnish his entire business with mid-century era office funishings.

1 comment:

RCURTIS said...

Mr Snyder,

I have a watercolor/print just like the fourth one down at this link
and one of his business cards. If you would like I could email you photo's of this but I'm curious as to any value this work may have, Thanks.

Rick Curtis