The Museum of Modern Art has acquired an original model of the Fiat 500F "Berlina," commonly referred to as the Cinquecento. The most popular version of the 500 - which was in production from 1965 through 1972 - the Berlina exemplifies a clear expression of form following function, a logical and economical use of materials, and a belief that quality design should be accessible to all.
"The Fiat 500 is an icon of automotive history that fundamentally altered car design and production," commented Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA. "Adding this unpretentious masterpiece to our collection will allow us to broaden the story of automotive design as told by the Museum."
The development of inexpensive, reliable cars like the Fiat 500 was instrumental in knitting together communities and nations and fostering a feeling of freedom of movement throughout the postwar European continent. Through its design and its centrality to the story of mid-century Italy, the 500 embodies many of the principles that typified mid-century modernist design and connects it to themes explored in works throughout the Museum's collection.