Object Timeline

1930

  • Work on this object began.

1940

  • Work on this object ended.

2017

2019

  • You found it!

Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1935

This is a Drawing. It was designed by John Chilka and from the office of General Motors. It is dated ca. 1935 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is graphite, crayon on illustration board. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Like many other industrial designers of the mid-twentieth century, John Chilka moved between competing companies. This concept car drawing is undated and was likely produced in the 1930s, when Chilka was working in the Art & Colour division of General Motors. The importance of this division of the company was paramount; it was responsible for the aesthetic definition of vehicles.
In this rendering, Chilka depicts the front half of the car in three quarter view, suggesting that the design's emphasis is on the verticality of the grill and snout-like hood. Chilka's restrained use of color and the drawing's medium suggest that this concept was perhaps an early sketch rather than a fully worked presentation drawing.

It is credited Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Its dimensions are

35.6 × 45.7 cm (14 × 18 in.)

It has the following markings

Watermark, upper left: LEE & CADY

Cite this object as

Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1935; Designed by John Chilka (American, b. Czech Republic, 1912 - 1987); graphite, crayon on illustration board; 35.6 × 45.7 cm (14 × 18 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2017-18-4

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108797967/ |title=Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1935 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 June 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>