Does great design get you revved up? Then mark your calendars for the first of four evening lectures in support of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House’s new exhibit, “Different by Design: The Styling of Edsel Ford.”

“Automotive Design through the Lens of a Photographer” at 7 p.m. June 25 kicks off Ford House’s summer lecture series. The evening will feature New York photographer Michael Furman discussing his acclaimed book “Curves of Steel” and upcoming publication “Spirit of Competition.”

Furman appeared in a video with Jay Leno on the former talk show host’s Web site “Jay Leno’s Garage,” and has a zest for capturing what Furman calls ‘these great machines,’ revealing their personality to all.

He plans to share the creative process of looking through a lens to discover the features of automotive design and style, including proportion and purpose. Copies of “Curves of Steel” will be available for purchase both prior to the lecture and at the event. Furman will autograph the book.

Other lectures and dates include:

July 9
Curatorial Close Up: The Emergence of ModernismThe streamlined look associated with Modernism marked a conscious break with the past to become one of the dominant expressions of design practice, production and theory in the early decades of 20th century. Ford House curator Josephine Shea will explore the modernism movement and offer examples of its influence on Edsel Ford’s design of the buildings and grounds at Ford House, as well as in his automobile styling.

July 23
Streamlines and Dreamlines: The Design Inspiration of Aerodynamics for AutomobilesPhil Patton, automotive design writer for The New York Times, will discuss how streamlining served as inspiration for some of America’s iconic automobiles, focusing on how aerodynamic principles evolved into an aesthetic that persist today.

August 6
Streamline Synergies: The Automotive Give-and-Take of 1930s Industrial DesignThe streamline design revolution of the 1930s impacted consumer products—from aircrafts and cars to radios and telephones. Automotive author Terry V. Boyce utilizes period advertising and contemporary images to explore how streamlined automotive forms reflected popular mass-produced products manufactured during the 1930s and early 1940s.

“Our distinguished guest lecturers will explore the world of automotive styling from a variety of perspectives, connecting the inspirational and stylistic designs of Edsel Ford’s automobiles with an emerging international interest in modernism,” said Kathleen Mullins, president of Ford House.

All four lectures begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Space is limited so reservations are recommended. Please for additional information.

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House opened its doors to the public in 1978. Since then, Ford House has shared Eleanor Ford’s vision of preserving and maintaining the house and grounds for future generations to enjoy through interpretive tours, family activities, lectures, exhibits, and gardens and grounds events.

For more information about Ford House, go to or call (313) 884-4222.

Ford House is located at 1100 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Shores.


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