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The Valiant Red Car

1960 Jim Dine Born: Cincinnati, Ohio 1935 oil on canvas 52 1/8 x 129 7/8 in. (132.5 x 330.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection 1980.137.22 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Dine was driving along a mountain road when he heard a radio report that his college roommate had been killed in an automobile accident. He was stunned and his own car ran off the road. Between 1959 and 1962, he memorialized the tragedy in a series of drawings, paintings, and prints and in a Happening called The Car Crash for which The Valiant Red Car served as a backdrop. The painting also pays homage to art dealer Martha Jackson, who offered Dine $4,000 a year to stop teaching elementary school and paint full time. “The Valiant Red Car was a celebration of her red Valiant. It was a way for me to depict our relationship without giving up my own iconography.”

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008



Architecture - vehicle - automobile


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Jim Dine

Born: Cincinnati, Ohio 1935

More works in the collection by
Jim Dine