Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design

Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design

PORTLAND, OREGON – Portland has been dubbed “the vanguard of American cycling” making the Portland Art Museum the ideal venue to host an exhibition exploring iconic bicycle design and celebrating bike culture. It will be presented from June 8 until September 8.

Drawn from the collection of Vienna-based designer and bike aficionado Michael Embacher, this special exhibition features 37 bicycles chosen by Embacher as examples of pivotal moments in the evolution of bicycle design.

Cyclepedia is the third entry in the Museum’s design-oriented exhibition series. Preceded by China Design Now and the Allure of the Automobile, Cyclepedia investigates the impact on bicycle design aesthetically and practically. The exhibition includes bikes of all shapes and sizes—from world-class racing bikes to novelty bikes. Also included are bicycles designed for unique purposes including riding in a war zone, across frozen ground, and with more than one person on board. The exhibition and related programming will explore the impact of bicycles on culture and lifestyle—locally and around the world.

Designed by Embacher, the exhibition will be unique in its presentation. The featured bicycles will be suspended from a frame on the ceiling that will wind its way through the galleries, giving the bikes the appearance of moving through an imaginary landscape. This installation technique allows visitors to experience the bicycles collectively and individually.

With a personal love of bicycles and a professional expertise in design, Embacher has passionately collected bicycles since 2003. His inquisitive interest in creative, rare, offbeat, and even bravely failed models led to the creation of his unique collection. The Embacher Collection is distinguished by more than 200 functioning bicycles and the rarity of the objects. The collection has been documented and celebrated in the publication, Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design, described by the London Sunday Times as the most comprehensive and visually satisfying book of bicycle portraits ever published. An iPad app, rated App of the Week in the UK iTunes store, also explores the collection.

Portland has more cyclists per capita than any other city in America. The Portland Art Museum is pleased to be the only US venue for this exhibition celebrating the best of bicycles.

The exhibition is organized by the Portland Art Museum from The Embacher Collection, Vienna, and co-curated by Michael Embacher and Bruce Guenther, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.