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Release: June 22, 1999

'Driven!' exhibition shows Americans’ obsession with cars

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Can’t live without your car? ''Driven! America’s Obsession with the Automobile'' a new exhibition at the University of Iowa Libraries, traces the automobile’s inception as a late 19th century self-propelled carriage to its modern form as a means of travel that is regarded as more of a necessity than a convenience.

The free and public exhibition on display now through September shows and examines our personal obsession with the auto, how it came to dominate the American economy, and as a result, how it became an impetus that changed America’s landscape and culture.

Scale models of classic automobiles and other display items donated by The Ertl Company, Dyersville, along with materials from the UI Libraries, will be on view in the North Exhibition Hall at the UI Main Library.

Materials from the Libraries collections create an illustrated timeline that explores the automotive evolution and roadside culture. Other items chronicling the car in art and literature and highway commerce add fluidity to the exhibition.

For additional information about the exhibition, call the UI Libraries at 319-335-5867.