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Our Cars, Ourselves

June 2024
1min read

A new Smithsonian permanent exhibit looks at the history of a nation on the move


Last November the National Museum of American history (a part of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C.) opened its biggest-ever exhibit, America on the Move , in the General Motors Hall of Transportation. This ambitious project includes everything from locomotives and antique cars to radiator emblems and a stretch of the original pavement from Route 66. The installations combine animated life-size figures with sound and lighting to create realistic vignettes, including (according to the museum) “a conversation between a Buick salesman and a young family buying a car” and, for those who crave such things, “a ‘commute’ into downtown Chicago on a December morning.” Elsewhere, displays examine issues like migration, gender, and globalization. The museum can be reached at 202-357-2700, or see www.americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove .

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