Saturday, July 5, 2008

Trash & Treasure

Everyone's heard the expression one man's trash is another man's treasure. Well, whoever said that may have seen the garbage bins behind Detroit's styling studios and advertising agencies.

Carl Renner - Corvette Concept - May 5, 1955

In the course of its daily business, the automotive creative industry churned out thousands upon thousands of sketches, drawings and full color illustrations. Once the art had served it's purpose - as part of the design process, executive presentations or advertising - it was discarded or stuffed into a storage closet - only to be trashed at a later date. What survives today was either tucked away by an artist or literally pulled from a dumpster.

Carl Cameron - Dodge Hemi Charger - March 12, 1966

In my conversations with car designers, I learned it was common to have a box under your drafting table where you'd keep some of your favorite work and trade pieces with colleagues. By the time a box was full, the styling projects were done and many supervisors would let you take things home. Most of the art in my collection comes from designers' basements and attics.

Two of the most valuable pieces in the gallery were literally pulled from the trash. These illustrations by Syd Mead were created as part of his legendary work for US Steel.

Syd Mead - LeMans Street Coupe

Syd Mead - Fender Blended Sports Car

When the company was cleaning out storage rooms, an alert employee spotted the artwork in a dumpster and grabbed it. The art was kept in his family for a number of years before finding its way into collectors' hands. These images are published on pp. 84-86 in Mead's 1979 book Sentinal.

3 comments:

Brisbane hotels said...

Maybe their artworks can be put on exhibits. In that way, they can earn money, for those who love art!

Buck said...

Very true about one man's trash being another man's treasure. I found over 100 pieces by Carl Cameron in a recyling box. No idea if they are worth anything but some of them are pretty cool. Where does a guy go to get automotive related artwork appraised?

Cheap Flights said...

In the old years..they consider these things as trash but now....we take hold on those things that we thought before as trash.