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Gallery Talk and Opening Reception for An Artful Ride: THE MOTORCYCLE


July 26
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Free and open to the public. RSVPs appreciated!
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Cape Cod Museum of Art
60 Hope Lane
Dennis, Massachusetts
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Gallery Talk and Opening Reception

Friday, July 26, 2024, 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Gallery Talk: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Opening Reception: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Free and open to the public. RSVPs appreciated!

Exhibition Dates: July 18 – October 13, 2024

Motorcycle enthusiasts and everyone with a taste for classic design and adventure will enjoy seeing the 30 rare, antique (1900s to 1970s) motorcycles and memorabilia on display in An Artful Ride: The Motorcycle, the Cape Cod Museum of Art’s signature summer exhibition. The exhibition is on view from July 18 through October 13, 2024.

The motorcycles were carefully selected by co-curators Benton Jones and Robert Nash from the magnificent collections of Cape Cod motorcycle enthusiasts David McGraw, and husband and wife team, Darryl Cutter and Cortney Oliver. The bikes come from many different manufacturers including Harley-Davidson, Indian, Nimbus, Crocker, Honda, Ducati, Excelsior, Zundapp and others.

The spacious Hope McClennen Gallery will be filled with the polished steel, chrome, leather and rubber of superbly crafted, preserved and restored motorcycles. As visitors make their way through the exhibition, they will witness a 70-year history of motorcycle design. Each motorcycle marks another step in the evolution of form and function – from changes in motors and wheels to seats and handlebars, even to paint colors and brand logos. A brief history of each model, with anecdotes from the collectors, will accompany the motorcycles to bring broader understanding to visitors.

An Artful Ride: The Motorcycle is sponsored by West Branch Capital.

David McGraw
David McGraw knows an icon when he sees it. His collection includes a century of rare and storied Harleys and a few other unusual bikes, some that survived their hard racing lives intact, others that came to him piece by piece during lengthy, far-flung searches until he finally had every elusive, authentic part and could begin the meticulous work of restoring them to their original glory. In most aspects, the bikes are as close to the original as possible. Restorations took years to complete.

In the process, David learned the bike’s stories. He met the people who had owned, raced, loved and lost them. While preserving the history of both bikes and riders, he built a collection that represents a truly American art form.

“Every bike I acquire comes with a question: to restore or not to restore? Some people feel that a bike is most valuable untouched, and I get that. If I’m lucky enough to get my hands on a rare racing bike that is still intact, despite its hardships, I am proud to include it in my collection, ‘as found.’ It is beautiful despite – or maybe because of – its scars. But I’m rarely lucky enough to find a bike that’s still whole. The majority of bikes in my collection were in pieces or in some sort of disrepair when I acquired them, so I restored them to their original condition, as they were in the beginning of their lives… but with all the history intact. To restore or not to restore? The answer is simple. I do what each bike calls for. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Darryl Cutter
When Darryl was 12 years old, he bought his first bike, a Honda Mini Trail 50, with paper route money. A few years later, he bought his first real motorcycle, a Hodaka Ace 100. At 15 he started racing Motocross on a Penton 125 at tracks throughout New England. Darryl also raced Hondas, Suzukis and Husqvarnas.

In the 1980s Darryl raced hare scrambles (a form of cross country racing) and also road raced at Loudon, NH. “I bought my first street bike, a Norton 750 Commando, in 1978 soon followed by a 1978 Ducati 900 Darmah” (included in this exhibition) he explains. “In my 40s I started getting interested in antique motorcycles. My first antique bike was my 1927 Indian Big Chief (also included in the exhibition). During the restoration process of the Big Chief, I joined the Antique Motorcycle Club of America and became very involved with the antique motorcycle community.” Darryl and Cortney’s antique motorcycle collection has grown from that first bike.

Cortney Oliver
Cortney’s uncle, Woodsie Castonguay, was a factory Indian racer and National Champion in the 1930s. When Cortney was a child, her father, much to her mother’s dismay, regaled Cortney with stories of Woodsie. But as a teen she was forbidden to hang with her friends who had motorcycles. “So I did what any good teenager would do and forged my mother’s name and got my motorcycle permit. I then forged her name again and got my motorcycle license. All while still in high school,” laughs Cortney.

In her 20s and 30s, she worked at numerous motorcycle shops (Serenity Cycles, Cape Cod Motorsport, True Wheels, Bernardi Cycles) in service, parts and sales. She road raced at Loudon Speedway in NH (mostly Yamaha RD350s) for a few years. She also dabbled in a few hare scrambles. Then in her late 20s, she met Darryl through a mutual friend. “The friend told me about this guy he knew with a really cool Ducati. And this friend told Darryl about his lady road racer friend (me). We finally met and the rest is history.”


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