Attendance is poised to top 100,000 for Diana, A Celebration at Union Station Kansas City. More people will have visited the exhibition in Kansas City than in any other location in the United States. Surely this is due in considerable part to the royal wedding in April, but it is also a testament to the regard in which the late Princess of Wales is still held.
Among the highlights of the past few months was the Royal Wedding Giveaway. It was an opportunity for Union Station and its partner companies to make a grand gesture that would be much appreciated by the recipients (go to the Union Station Facebook page to hear the winner notification). After all, a wedding reception worth $25,000 is quite a prize.
Not an institution prone to resting on its laurels, Union Station has plans for more special exhibitions covering a wide range of subjects. The next one, which comes to Kansas City June 24, is Art of the Chopper. It is quite a change from Diana, A Celebration, but it promises to be an event to remember. There will be 35 unique custom motorcycles — choppers — on display, along with information about their 30 creators.
The world of the chopper is a fascinating one that dates back to around the end of World War II. It was brought to public view in the movie Easy Rider and has grown out of the American desire for the freedom of the open road.
Originally, choppers were basically stripped down motorcycles. All the excess equipment, including windshields and fenders, were removed to make the machines lighter and faster. Then the modifications became more and more artful, until today, some of the bikes are considered works of art. One should not be surprised to find hard-core bikers and art lovers standing shoulder to shoulder admiring these rolling sculptures.
So now it is time to bid farewell to Diana, A Celebration, as well as this blog and to welcome Art of the Chopper. Good-bye People’s Princess. Hello king of the road.