Guest post by College Archivist Robert Dirig and Transportation Design Director Jay Sanders
Strother MacMinn teaches class on lawn, 1960 (Photo courtesy Art Center Archives)
Art Center’s Car Classic has become one of the most highly anticipated transportation events in Southern California, if not the entire country. Over the past nine years, the event has showcased amazing automobiles and brought together industry leaders–many of whom are Art Center alumni. As we approach Sunday’s Car Classic 2010: Freedom of Motion, join us in looking back at how Art Center became a leader in the world of transportation design.
Jergenson is shown in this circa 1950 photograph with student A.K. Ragheb PROD '51. (Photo courtesy Art Center Archives)
It is estimated that more than half of the world’s car designers are Art Center graduates. Transportation Design alumni currently hold top positions at the studios of Pininfarina, Ferrari-Maserati, Ford, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Volvo, Nissan, Aston Martin, Mazda, Toyota/Lexus and Volkswagen North America.
The field has a long and storied history at the College. Years before Transportation Design became a major at Art Center, our graduates were taking positions with General Motors’ Buick Division in Detroit in the 1930s.
In 1948, Transportation Design became an official course of study at the College, with such influential faculty members as George Jergenson, Strother MacMinn and John Coleman establishing the school’s connection with transportation design—a field that would lift Art Center into international prominence.