Collection by Aaron Britt

Speed Limits at the Wolfsonian


It's easy to forget, considering how much technology we interact with today, that the roots of modernism have everything to do with making sense of the machine. The industrial machine offered modes of production, quickness of industry, and a brand new aesthetic, and the degree to which modernism is about sorting this out can be easy to overlook. Thankfully, the Wolfsonian-Florida International University Museum on Miami Beach continues to explore the speed, steel, and strength of our early modernist moment through the propaganda and ephemera of the era. Their new exhibit, Speed Limits, gets at the increasing pace of life in the early part of the 20th century, and reminds us how artists and designers reconciled themselves to the larges technological shift the world had seen. Have a look at the slideshow here, or better yet, get down to the Wolfsonian in person. Speed LImits runs through February 20th, 2011.

This lithograph, called People Work-Evening from 1937 by the American Benton Spruance shows the teeming urban hordes...
This drawing, Cityscape, from 1920 by the Belgian Edmond van Dooren imagines a future city all vertical towers and...
Investment of Capital in Soviet Maritime Transport is a postcard circa 1930 that ran in a Moscow publication called...
This untitled watercolor by Italian Tulio Crali is from around 1935.
Speed Your Message is an ad from around 1931 designed by the Englishman Albert E. Halliwell.
This postcard by French artist Francis Vareddes tells you all you need to know about the thrilling promise of the...
Clearly vigor wasn't limited just to the machine as this New York periodical Physical Culture from 1927 shows.
This Pirelli tire clock comes from around 1950, but it's inclusion on say a bedside table shows how deeply the notions...
Look close and you'll see that alongside the power of sheer speed in a lot of the objects in this show, you'll also see...
To me this is the perfect expression of the unsettled quality that more and more technology can inspire.
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