On The Square

Art in the Fast Lane with Jacques Vaucher

By Jessica Helen Weinberg

Jun 15,2017 | 13:00 EDT

When automobiles first appeared, no one believed they had staying power, actually, the vast majority of people saw them as a fad. However, as the technology and use for the motorcar grew, nostalgia and fascination for its transformative history grew along with it. Well over a century later, automobiles have not only continued to be used but they have drastically impacted our lives. 

Making their Bidsquare debut, l'art et l’automobile (arteautoauction) hosts Automobile Memorabilia, Timed Auction, available now through June 27th, offering a collection that includes historical auto-memorabilia by some of the best automotive artists in the world, from factory sales literature, to race programs, autographed photos, vintage posters, prints & paintings, and automobile hood ornament & sculptures. 

Left to Right: Lot 30, Grand Prix Automobile et Motocycliste International d’Albi 1948 original poster by Howard Julien; Lot 29, G.P. of Portugal 1960 original poster in Porto; Lot 26, 12 Hours of Sebring 1963 original official event poster by Zito, USA

The evolution of the automobile and the collection of memorabilia, seem to have sprouted in two different directions. Sporting or racing, where an admiration for speed and skill steer the wheel; and luxury which focuses on the mechanical, highlighting the beauty and aesthetic of the vehicle. Depending on the interest of the collector, this can either be a dividing line of interest or a continuous track that connects both aspects equally. 

Lot 27, VIII Gran Premio de Mexico , Original Poster, Won by Denny Hulme in his McLaren-Ford, 1969; Estimate $500 - $700

Owned by Jacques Vaucher, l’art et l’automobile, located in Harper, TX, is Americas preeminent automotive art gallery and auction house. As a child, Jacques Vaucher, whose Godfather owned "Eureka,” a toy manufacturer in France, played with the four-wheeled toys produced there and rapidly became the unofficial test driver for the company. Where most boys grew out of their fixation with toy cars - Jacques never did. At age 14, he saw his first automobile race in Montlhéry, France - so the toys got bigger and his passion for racing, preserving and collecting ensued. 

Image: Jacques Vaucher in 1982 in his first gallery in New York City; www.arteauto.com

Jacques Vaucher raced and sold cars for Maserati importer Bob Grossman, Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti and organized automotive art shows at the Chinetti Ferrari showroom in New York City. He successfully exhibited at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix as well as various Madison & 5th avenue galleries. In the years that followed, Jacques opened his own New York gallery, the first in the world for automobiles, and eventually relocated to Easthampton.

When asked about what prompted him to open a gallery in in the first place, Vaucher recalls, " My first encounter with automobile art came in the mid 1970s when I met a German artist in New York who made large, beautiful canvases of race cars on the moon, on the beach..etc..I bought one of her paintings for myself and organized a show for her at the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix in Watkins Glen in 1975 - it was very well received. This is really how I started to become involved with automobile memorabilia and it evolved from there."

Image: L’art et l’automobile gallery on the ranch in Harper, TX; www.arteauto.com

Presently, l’art et l’automobile resides in the Texas Hill Country, west of Austin, on Vaucher’s ranch, where he conducts his business from a 4,000 square foot barn/gallery filled with cars and automobilia. Most individuals who visit the ranch are collectors that come to see the collection and purchase items as well as car clubs groups and rallies. Perhaps, its the open driving roads that lead car enthusiasts to lart et lautomobile or the gourmet mediterranean luncheons catered by Jacques wife Karen that fuel the galleries allure - either way - youll know it when you see it from the exquisite cars parked outside.  

Lot 9 (Inside illustration) 30 Anni Di Esperienze, Original Ferrari factory sales brochure, Foldout, Italian language; Estimate $3,000 - $4,000

Lot 14, Fernando Gomez, Juan Manuel Fangio in his Maserati 250 F, Photograph believed to be taken at the French Grand Prix in Rouen in 1957, Autographed; Estimate $500 - $700

Cruise around this stylish catalog offering items from Jacques Vauchers collection, directly from the Texas Hill Country gallery, l’art et l’automobile. Vintage posters and original drivers manuals from manufacturers include Bentley, Maserati, Ferrari, Bugatti, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz and many others!

Click here to view the full l'art et l’automobile (arteautoauction) Automobile Memorabilia, Timed Auction, available to bid now through June 27th