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AUTOMOTIVE TIRES are said to be “round, black and sticky,” yet they’re also objet d’art, especially when portrayed by some of the world’s greatest poster artists. What’s more, Bruce Halle, founder of Discount Tire Company, likely has the greatest collection of this art genre.
Discount Tire Company’s Scottsdale, Arizona, headquarters displays a rotating collection of poster art dedicated to the automotive tire.
The company’s founder and chairman Bruce Halle started selling tires in 1960 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company now has 800 stores in 23 states.
What started 30 years ago as a chance purchase of a tire poster flourished into a collection of more than 350 pieces—and a collection curator as part of the Discount Tire staff.
Halle is quoted in Forbes Magazine, October 10, 2011, about his first poster, an early Michelin one, and his early days of collecting the genre: “This one wasn’t really that expensive, and I thought, ‘I’ll buy it and hang it in the office somewhere.’ As I got into it, prices started climbing. I wondered why…. I was dealing with several brokers and, essentially, bidding against myself.” (See http://goo.gl/CJZHpY.)
In the catalog Preface, James K. Ballinger, the Phoenix Art Museum’s director, notes that the dawn of the automobile at the end of the 19th century coincided with development of large scale lithography. The same artful coincidence occurred with the aeroplane, as shown by http://wp.me/p2ETap-Ki.
In 2002, Bruce and his wife founded the Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation. Since both had lost spouses to cancer, the foundation began by establishing a pavilion at the Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, dedicated to their memories. See http://goo.gl/7KH2lB for details of this philanthropic activity.
The museum catalog is published as a bound collection on postcard stock. A later publication, Posters from the Collection of Discount Tire, is in large format, 11.7 x 10 inches.
The book was assembled by Susan Driver, Art Historian at Discount Tire.
How many tire shops are there with their own Art Historian? ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2014