... a huge painting of an early auto race, has hung in the J.K. Lilly III Automobile Museum for decades, but no one knew anything about the history of the piece or the identity of the artist. Staff could find no records on it. The only clue was that the work was signed “PAL/08.”
This spring brought a stroke of luck, though. The new auto exhibit this season, American Speed, focuses on racing history. Naturally, we thought this dramatic painting of an early car race should be included. But what could we say about it? Staff had attempted to research this painting before, but had no luck. We turned to the internet for another try and came across an extensive website devoted to the Vanderbilt Cup (www.vanderbiltcupraces.com). Better still, just three days earlier the site had posted an article regarding the promotional poster for the 1908 race, revealing that the artist of the poster was Jean de Paléologue (1860-1942), who used the pseudonym “PAL.” Jackpot! After some discussion with the historian who operates the website, it was determined that the painting Heritage owns is in fact the long-lost original artwork that was used for the 1908 poster!
You can see the original painting and a reproduction of the resulting poster (not to mention six fantastic race cars!) in the American Speed exhibit, running from July 7 - October 31 in the J.K. Lilly III Automobile Museum at the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts.