MV Agusta: Art, Design, and Function

The post war history of the motorcycle.

Motorcycles as Art? Wholeheartedly, YES!!! MV Agusta is the epitome of perfection in terms of design, performance and sheer artful beauty in motorcycle history. The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art of the Midland Center for the Arts will become ground zero for the most comprehensive exhibition ever organized on the subject of Italian MV Agusta motorcycles when it features over 75 rare, vintage and contemporary MV Agusta’s from the collection of Michigan’s Gary Kohs, January 15 – April 10 2011.

There has never been a larger or more comprehensive collection amassed to illustrate the history and breadth of MV Agusta in all its forms and functions and in complete chronological accuracy. What’s more is the inclusion of the “500 Triple”, arguably the most important motorcycle ever manufactured. This exhibition will chronicle every year of production including race bikes, scooters, mopeds, and three wheeler’s with no compromise on the ideals of pure originality in all examples, either un-restored or those restored to original. It will trace the evolution of the motorcycle from pure post war transportation to its place as a sporting machine today. The exhibition will show the leading edge design of every MV Agusta machine whether it be the 48cc Moped or the world championship racing race bike. And the one dominate underlying theme that will be seen is that racing was always part of the story from the first day of production in 1946 to the present. This is a rare examination of design, function, aesthetics and sheer excellence of the finest motorcycle ever manufactured.

The Midland Center for the Arts, it is a striking exhibition facility (opened in 1971), that provides for the exhibition of programs in art, history and science, as well as providing facilities for the performing arts and an art school. The Center was designed by the architect Alden B. Dow, who was the son of Herbert H. Dow, the founder of Dow Chemical Company. The architect studied under Frank Lloyd Wright in the first Taliesin Fellowship in 1933 and Midland is a virtual showcase of his organic architecture.

Midland is also home to the world headquarters of Dow Chemical Company and Dow Corning Corporation and is surrounded by 4 colleges and universities within 25 miles. Consequently it is an affluent and educated community with a history of cultural exposure. The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art has a track record of exhibitions of great prominence evidenced by this the most comprehensive exhibition of M V Agusta ever coordinated. The past has seen a history of great exhibitions in art and science from some of America’s greatest museums including the The American Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Field Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Carnegie Science Center to name a few.

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