October 12, 2021
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Rebecca Dawson, Director of Communications
860.443.2545 ext. 2112 / [email protected]


NEW LONDON – Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, cars and motorcycles have not only been ubiquitous on the nation’s streets and highways, but also in film, top forty hits, and in painting. With the emergence of photorealism in the 1960’s motor vehicles assumed a special place of distinction as subject matter in the iconography of American art.

LUSTER: Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle Painting, is a traveling exhibition comprised of over 55 paintings by nearly 15 leading photorealists and hyperrealists who specialize in automobiles and motorcycles as their primary subject of choice. Their work exemplifies the very best of automotive painting being done today and builds on that of the first wave of photorealists in the ‘60s and ‘70s, which included the likes of Harold Cleworth, Don Eddy, Richard Estes, and Ralph Goings. LUSTER opens at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum on Saturday, Oct. 23, and remains on view through Jan. 2, 2022.

“We’re heading down a new lane with this exhibition,” said Museum Director Sam Quigley. “We’re known for our collection of American art, and this show represents another art style that is incredibly realistic and detailed. I think our visitors are going to love it.”

Featuring dazzling paintings that encompass a broad range of vintage vehicles to more recent classics, LUSTER is a celebration of mechanical and artist design and style, the combination of which will have great allure with audiences. Like the shiny automobiles and motorcycles portrayed by the artists, its paintings can be characterized by the luster that permeates their imagery.

The Lyman Allyn will be hosting a Hot Shots party to celebrate the opening of the exhibition on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. The event will feature classic cars and motorcycles on the Museum’s grounds for viewing. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in their best 1950s and ‘60s retro attire to compete in a costume contest. Local food trucks, breweries and wine merchants will be on hand with free food and drink – Woodfellas Pizza, Greekin’ Out Food Truck, Tox Brewing, Dude’s Donuts and Spencer & Lynn. Tickets to the event can be purchased in advance at The fun continues with an After Party at Hot Rod Café in Downtown New London, from 6 to 9 p.m. Proceeds will support the Lyman Allyn.

LUSTER: Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle PaintingProduced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C., David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Curator/Tour Director. This exhibition is generously supported by The Gates Automotive Group; the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; and an anonymous foundation.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Dawson by email at [email protected].

About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut, and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.

The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129 or visit us on Facebook or at

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