Evolution of Automobile Design from 1900 to the 1960s.


Sketches by Robert Selkowitz

The theme of my exhibition is the Evolution of Automobile Design from 1900 to the 1960s. I am including a few examples from each decade in this survey.

My portfolio of car sketches goes back forty years to the 1977 Vintage Fall Festival at Lime Rock Park. In 1978 I sketched in the paddock at Lime Rock with my baby daughter on my back. In those years I was a budding landscape painter and we drove a 1962 Jaguar Mk 10 Saloon. In 1987 the “Lime Rock Track Record” published my illustrated story, “The Gentleman's Races”. In 2014 my car sketches were published in Woodstock Times to illustrate an article I wrote about the Woodstock British Car Show.

Then in 2015, I began to research and plan a commemoration rally based on the 1903 Automobile Endurance Run which crossed through 14 New York counties. My car drawings focus expanded to include every decade of automobiles from the 1900s through the 1960s. I did more than 100 drawings at many locations and events through 2016.

I have a BA from Cornell University in Social Relations and an MFA from Bard College in Painting. I was a Contributing Editor at Victorian Homes magazine through my interest in painting and aspiring community. The project on the 1903 Automobile Endurance Run has energized my interest in all eras of automobiles and led me to see and draw some amazing and interesting autos. You can visit www.1903autorun.com for more about that story.

One reward of the research process has been the uncovering of the lone woman who took part in the 1903 Auto Run, Edith Riker, wife of A.L. Riker, designer of the Locomobile. She was quoted as saying: “How Glorious it is to fly through the country day or night at railroad speed over all sorts of roads!” This was the birth of the sensation of automobiling, the personal freedom of mechanical transportation. We still ride at railroad speed, and look at all the variety of automobiles we have enjoyed in doing so.