Opening Lecture: The Shape of Speed

June 17, 2018 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Behind the Headlights: Fascinating Tales of the Cars and Motorcycles in The Shape of Speed

Ken Gross, Guest Curator, The Shape of Speed

The 19 streamlined cars and motorcycles in The Shape of Speed span a fascinating time period from 1930-42. Despite the debts of the Great Depression and the looming threat of war, the U.S. and European automotive industry’s creativity and imagination was unparalleled at the time. Go behind the scenes to hear stories of the famous designers, talented engineers, and past and present owners of the vehicles that represent some of the most fascinating events in automotive history.

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This event will be streamed live on June 17. Watch the lecture below or on our YouTube channel.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.