Fiat 500 in the Spotlight at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

The Fiat 500 Series F, acquired by the famous Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2017, was seen by the general public for the first time on Sunday February 10, 2019. The car will be on display in the "The Value of Good Design" exhibition that tells the story of industrial design through the works of the collection of the MoMA running until June 15, 2019. Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Photo: John Wronn courtesy MoMA

The Fiat 500 F series, acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 2017, was seen by the general public for the first time on monday. The car will be on display in the “The Value of Good Design” exhibition, which tells the story of industrial design through the works of the MoMA collection, running until June 15, 2019.

The prestigious induction in MoMA’s galleries further certifies the historical importance and symbolic value of the Fiat 500 of the 1950s as an Italian style icon that embodies many of the typical features of modernist design of the age and connects to the themes explored by the collections on display in the museum in New York.

The Fiat 500 on display at the MoMA is a Series F model. This was the most famous series of all and was made from 1965 to 1972. Counting the other first-generation versions (Sport, D, L, R), more than 4 million rolled off the lines from 1957 to 1975. More than 6 million cars have been manufactured since the 500 was revamped in 2007, making this one of the best-selling Fiat models of all time.

Designed by Dante Giacosa and launched in 1957, the Fiat “Nuova” 500 was designed as an affordable car for post-war Europe. The basic concept was that high-quality design should be accessible to all. In spite of its small size, Giacosa’s design maximized the space inside, creating a surprisingly roomy interior able to accommodate four passengers. The standard folding soft top gave this budget car a touch of luxury, while reducing the use of steel, which was very expensive at that time.

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