Maserati - like Caravaggio, Puccini, Barolo, Riva - is one of those sonorous names that speak volumes about Italian culture. With 22 examples built, the Maserati 250F of 1954 was the first mass produced Formula One car!
But, despite a glorious history of speed, luxury and style, Maserati is mainly appreciated by those people who have taken time to search for it. Maserati was founded in 1914 by the six Maserati brothers (one of whom was a painter). It was then sold to the Orsi family in 1937.
A troubled liaison with Citroen began in 1967 and then Argentinian entrepreneur Alejandro de Tomaso bought Maserati. Since 1993 Maserati has been wholly owned by the Fiat Group and an industrial rinascente began.
Maserati has always attracted celebrities. The greatest racing drivers of them all - Nuvolari, Fangio and Moss - all drove Maseratis. The Aga Khan, the Shah of Persia, Alain Delon, Peter Ustinov and even Eva Longoria’s character in the successful American TV series Desperate Housewives have all been customers. But most of all, the best designers have been attracted to the romance of the Modena machines: Frua, Bertone, Pininfarina and Giugiaro have produced some of their very best bodywork for Maserati, making dull metal sing.
This is an exhibition of photographs of the people - the racers, the stars, the royals, the troupers - whose reputations made the Maserati story. It has been selected from the Maserati archives by Stephen Bayley, entrepreneur of ideas, who also wrote the commentary to the exhibition.
Michael Hoppen Gallery, Chelsea, are delighted to host this rare opportunity to view original photographs from the Maserati archives.
*There are so many stars - Giacomo Leopardi
Maserati - egli ci ha tante stelle
- 14 July-23 July 2005
- At Michael Hoppen Gallery
- 3 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TD
For further information log onto www.michaelhoppengallery.comPublished 14 June 2005