Friday, July 10, 2009

The New Standard of the World in Majesty

“Fire Jet” racing car, about 1955.

The Japan Society, one of the more beautiful and overlooked museums in New York, currently features an exhibition of 70 rare Japanese tin toys manufactured in former munitions factories in the decades following World War II. From the NYT:
The details were all based on the latest Detroit fashions, which Japanese designers copied from photos or magazine clippings. “The American car represented glamour, wealth and victory” to war-devastated Japan, said Joe Earle, the director of the gallery. Japanese manufacturers, he added, “were extraordinary at organizing suppliers, staying flexible and making significant profits while mass-producing a constantly changing variety of cars.”

Chrysler New Yorker Four-Door Sedan, 1957.

Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Two-Door Convertible with retractable hardtop, 1959; with battery-powered motor and remote control.

General Motors Oldsmobile Two-Door Sedan, 1955; with trailer.

The exhibition also features much of the original packaging for the toys, "depicting Caucasian families driving through landscapes that combine American desert scenery and a few Japanese cherry trees."

Click here [and scroll down] to read about it at The New York Times and here for more info and images at the Japan Society.

All images from the Yoku Tanaka collection.
Photos Tadaki Nakagawa/The Japan Society.

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