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JANUARY 22-JULY 23, 2006

ORLANDO, FL - Both art and motorcycle enthusiasts will feel a part of the cultural revolution when The Art of the Motorcycle rolls into the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) from January 22 through July 23, 2006. Based on the landmark exhibition that opened in 1998 at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, to record crowds, The Art of the Motorcycle explores the motorcycle as both cultural icon and design achievement and offers a thought-provoking challenge to conventional assumptions about art and popular culture in the modern age. It is organized by Wonders, The Memphis International Cultural Series, in association with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

Showcasing 80 historic and contemporary motorcycles, each exceptional example was selected based upon criteria that considered technical innovation, aesthetic excellence and cultural significance. The exhibition chronicles the most compelling moments in the evolution of motorcycle design and places these developments in a cultural context. Starting with examples produced in the 19th century, the exhibition shows how the motorcycle emerged as an icon of our time. Guggenheim Foundation Director Thomas Krens has written, "The motorcycle is a perfect metaphor for the 20th century… Invented at the beginning of the industrial age, its evolution tracks the main currents of modernity. The object and its history present the themes of technology, engineering, innovation, design, mobility, speed, rebellion, desire, freedom, love, sex and death…"

"We are thrilled to be the exclusive Florida venue for The Art of the Motorcycle, a world-class exhibition based on the Guggenheim's landmark presentation, which celebrates the achievements of artistic excellence found in motorcycle design," says OMA Executive Director Marena Grant Morrisey. "After seeing this exhibition, visitors will see the world differently, recognizing that art is truly everywhere."

Selections in the exhibition include the Copeland Steam (Replica 1884), one of several successful steam-powered motorcycles; the Orient (1900), the first commercially produced motorcycle in the United States; the Cyclone Board Tracker (1914), known as the "yellow speed demon" - the fastest bike of its period; the BMW R32 (1923), the motorcycle's clean angular look shows the influence of German Bauhaus design; the Harley-Davidson EL (1936), the popular "knucklehead," and early example of the now familiar line of Harley-Davidson cruising bikes; the Easy Rider Chopper (1993), a replica that replaces the lost original from the 1969 film with Peter Fonda and the best known motorcycle in film; the Aprilia Moto 6.5 (1995), a stylish motorcycle created by world-famous designer Phillippe Starck; and, among the sleekest and most glamorous of recent Italian motorcycles, the MV Agusta F4 (1998), designed by Massimo Tamburini in collaboration with Ferrari. Also included are important examples from Indian, Triumph, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and many others.

The exhibition is organized chronologically: the first section, "Inventing the Motorcycle: 1868-1919," considers the motorcycle in the context of other major inventions of the era: the railroad, electricity and cinema. "The Machine Age: 1922-1929" traces the rapid acceptance of a machine aesthetic, with technology serving as a leitmotif of modern culture. "New World Orders: 1930-1944" finds the machine ethos of the 1920s assuming an altogether different scale and demeanor. "Freedom and Postwar Mobility: 1946-1958" charts the emergence of the motorcycle as an instrument that allowed for escape from the anonymity of postwar society. "Popular Culture/Counterculture: 1959-1969" examines the motorcycle as an emblem of the era, as relevant to the cultural iconography as rock music and street protests. "Getting Away From It All: 1969-1981" charts the nation's growing malaise and corresponding desire for escape. "The Consumer Years: 1982-1989" tells the story of a rising stock market and burgeoning middle class, making leisure activities ever more eagerly pursued. Finally, "Retro/Revolutionary: 1990-2004" traces the different routes recently taken in motorcycle design: from the grunge aesthetic, in which motorcycles have been stripped of their traditional trappings, to designs which both restate and update ideas from past decades.

Nestled in beautiful Orlando Loch Haven Park, the Orlando Museum of Art is a private, non-profit institution, dedicated to enriching the cultural life of Florida by providing excellence in the visual arts. Founded in 1924, the OMA has grown from a small arts center into a nationally accredited and recognized museum. As one of Florida's cultural gems, the OMA is home to permanent collections of American art, African art and art of the ancient Americas, and presents a variety of temporary exhibitions of the highest artistic merit.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The last ticket is sold one hour prior to closing.

Pre-sale general admission tickets are available for $12.50 (must be pre-purchased by 12/31/05). Admission for adults is $15; seniors (65+), students and active military personnel is $12; youth ages 6-18 is $5; children ages 5 and younger is free; groups of 20 or more is $12; senior groups of 20 or more is $10. OMA Members are offered free admission on their first visit and the first Thursday of each month; each additional visit is $10. Admission prices include an audio guide tour.

PRESENTING SPONSOR: Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program; Benefactors: Council of 101, Joe R. Lee, The Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation, Inc., Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc., Orlando Motorcycle Salon/Miami Motorcycle Salon and United Arts of Central Florida; Sustaining Patrons: Orlando Harley-Davidson; Patrons: Bright House Networks, Clear Channel Outdoor, Mall at Millenia, Rosen Centre Hotel and Telemundo Orlando; Sustaining Sponsors: AARP Motorcycle Insurance Program from Foremost Insurance, Help Art Reach Kids (H.A.R.K.), Smooth Jazz 103.1 WLOQ, SunTrust Bank and WMFE - TV 24; Sponsors: Baldwin Park, The Chesley G. Magruder Foundation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Gotcha Mobile Media, Orlando Marriott Downtown, Robertson-Johnson Warehouses, Inc. and 96.5 WHTQ FM Cox Radio International; Sustaining Partners: Lockheed Martin and Orlando Leisure Magazine; Contributing Partners: Dixie Biker Illustrated and Enzian Theater; Partners: WUCF-FM 89.9.

For further information, call (407) 896-4231 or visit the OMA's web site at The OMA is located just one hour southwest from Daytona Beach along the I-4 corridor (exit #85) in picturesque Orlando Loch Haven Park at 2416 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, FL.

Media interested in receiving promotional images on the exhibition may call (407) 896-4231, Ext. 233, e-mail [email protected] or download them at

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Orlando Museum of Art is supported by earned income, the Council of 101, donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, and sponsored in part by United Arts of Central Florida with funds from the United Arts campaign, State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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I went to this a few weeks ago. Very neat to see all the bikes and read their histories etc. I got some pics but I bought a camera there so still need to get them developed.

If you have a chance to check it out, go. Friday evenings they have a happy hour right outside the museum too.
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