June 8, 2014 - January 4, 2015
Discover the facts and the fiction surrounding the Mother Road through more than 250 extraordinary artifacts that trace the history of the route and its impact on American popular culture.
Connecting Chicago to Los Angeles, the 2,400-mile-long highway was a witness to history and a symbol for America on the move. Route 66: The Road and the Romance travels the iconic road from its inception in 1926 through the drama of the Great Depression to its heyday as a travel destination and the route's eventual displacement by the Interstate Highway System. The exhibition concludes with a contemporary look at the road and the movement for its preservation.
Route 66 presents historical artifacts from institutions and private collections across the United States, many never before displayed together. See the oldest existing Route 66 shield, an early Jackson Pollock landscape painting, a ten-foot twin visible gas pump, the handwritten page from The Grapes of Wrath manuscript that introduces the “Mother Road,” renowned Dust Bowl–era photographs, Woody Guthrie’s guitar, the original typewritten scroll of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, a classic 1960 Corvette, and countless objects adorned with the Route 66 moniker or acquired along the route.