1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1937 Cord 812 Displayed with More than 50 Pieces of Hyperrealistic Automotive and Motorcycle Artwork from 14 Different Artists

The National Corvette Museum is providing guests with another way to experience the magnificence and splendor of automotive design with a new exhibit, LUSTER: Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle Painting, opening March 15. Comprised of more than 50 paintings by nearly 15 of today’s realists and hyperrealists specializing in automobiles and motorcycles, LUSTER takes up residency in the Museum’s reimagined limited engagement gallery, which is transformed into the region’s newest fine art gallery.

“Corvette enthusiasts know that America’s Sports Car is a work of art. From the flowing curves of the C3 to the aggressive lines of the C8, Corvettes have often set the standard for beauty and visual excitement for more than 70 years,” explained Robert Maxhimer, National Corvette Director of Collections and Exhibits. “What makes LUSTER particularly special is the fine detail used to capture the subjects of each painting. Chrome shines, paint sparkles and polished fenders reflect their surroundings, and many of the portraits in LUSTER could be mistaken for photographs.”

The automobiles featured in Luster include a car for every enthusiast, but there is special emphasis on the styling of the mid-20th century. Be dazzled by Lory Lockwood’s All the Pretty Horses, where a Ferrari F40 reflects a pair of 355s in stunning detail. Then there is Totally Wired, John Schaeffer’s up close and intricate portrait of a Crager S/S wire wheel captured in all its metallic splendor. Motorcycle fans will admire the attitude and mystique of Shadow, a painting of a 1949 Vincent Black Shadow by Guenevere “Motor Painter” Schwien.

And, of course, Corvettes will make a prominent appearance in LUSTER. See Cheryl Kelly’s portrait of a Laguna Blue 1966 fastback Sting Ray, or your heart race at Ken Scaglia’s Arc of a Driver as if you were behind the wheel of a 1958 Corvette. Visitors will also get to view a new Corvette painting by A.D. Cook, Momentum, presented to the public for the first time at the National Corvette Museum.

With new appeal to art lovers, the Museum continues to be a destination for car enthusiasts no matter their passion, with LUSTER art alongside incredible cars and motorcycles in the Limited Engagement Gallery, including:

  • 1937 Cord 812, on loan from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, which features a phaeton-style body, is a renamed and updated version of the 1936 Cord 810. Designed by Gordon Buehrig for the Auburn Automobile Company, the 812 was famous for its “coffin nose” appearance. Only 2,972 810s and 812s were ever produced.
  • 1941 Indian Sport Scout, on loan from Mike Wolfe and the American Picker Columbia Motor Alley, which is an attempt to recapture the popularity of the earlier 101 Scout, which was renowned for its superior handling. The United States’ entry into World War II halted Indian’s civilian production, ending the further development of the Sport Scout.
  • 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, a car that has reached such iconic status that many people know it simply as a ’57 Chevy. The ’57 Chevy remains a sought-after collector car today and one of the defining automobiles of its generation.
  • 1958 Chevrolet Corvette, finished in Charcoal with a red interior, captures the style and splendor of the 1958 design, with this car winning national awards.

Undergoing a major renovation to transform the space into a fine art gallery, LUSTER takes residency in the Museum’s limited engagement gallery through the end of 2024. Highlights of the new space include refinished flooring, movable gallery walls, and directional lighting that creates a visual journey when viewing the art and artifacts. The outcome is a jewel-like space that reflects both the LUSTER exhibit and the direction the National Corvette Museum is taking as we evolve and enhance the guest experience.

“For more than a decade, our Limited Engagement Gallery has featured a rotating group of exhibits that speak to automotive enthusiasts,” added Maxhimer. “When we realized the elevated experience LUSTER would bring to our guests, having the Limited Engagement Gallery be the right canvas to display the art was crucial.”

Now open through the end of the year, LUSTER is just one more reason to experience how Adrenaline Meets Tradition at the National Corvette Museum. Click ‘Learn More’ to reserve your tickets and read more.