James Swan

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Episode 449: Michael Furman


As a young boy, Michael Furman got his first taste of sports cars when his dad was lent an early XK120 Roadster.  A quick triple digit ride speed run with twin brother Marc stuffed in the boot made the Furman boys sports car lovers for life.  Within a few months, Michael picked up a camera to photograph a 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe, and thus began a life-long love affair with cars and cameras.

Michael studied photography at the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology, earning a Fine Arts degree in 1974. Upon graduation, he opened his studio in his native Philadelphia, and built a successful business shooting still life assignments for major advertising and corporate clients. But it was a long-standing love of automobiles that led him to the challenge of shooting cars in the studio. He instantly became enamored with these elegant forms; this new path leading to his position as the most sought-after photographer of significant automobiles in the world.

Michael’s notoriety grew with the publication of his first books, Motorcars of the Classic Era and its companion title, Automobiles of the Chrome Age, 1946-1960. These photographic essays are unique to the publishing world in that they celebrate the beauty and history of the world’s most iconic cars in studio imagery. Speed, Style and Beauty, The Cars of the Ralph Lauren Collection proved to be a tremendously popular book as it was published in concert with the exhibition of Mr. Lauren’s collection at the MFA, Boston in 2005.

Many other museum books have followed with publisher Coachbuilt Press including Curves of Steel, for the Phoenix Art Museum, multiple titles for the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia and the Mullin Museum in Southern California. His most recent publicaiton is the catalog for the exhibition at the Museo dell’Automobile in Torino. Stile Transatlantico/Transatlantic Style that saw its world premiere at The Pebble Beach Concours de’Elegance in 2016.

For 2017, Rule Britannia, When British Sports Cars Saved A Nation will be premiered at Pebble Beach in August and at The Concours of Elegance in London in early September.

International exhibitions have included The Ralph Lauren exhibit at the The Louvre in Paris, and the Beijing Auto Museum in China. He has also been honored by American Photographer, Communication Arts, PhotoGraphis, Automobile Quarterly, and The International Historic Motoring Awards.

Michael Furman is a regular presence at major concours events around the world as a judge, sponsor and lecturer.  His fine art prints are available through the Winfield Gallery in Carmel, California.

Check out Michael’s Website here

Check out the Coachbuilt Press Website here

Pick-up a copy of Michael’s book, Automotive Jewelry Vol. One, by clicking here

Automotive Jewelry, Volume One- Mascots, Badges

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