Monday, January 4, 2010

For NASCAR History Buffs-NASCAR Exhibit planned in time for the Daytona Speedweeks

If you are like us, we are very interested on how it all started. Its hard to believe that steps away from my home in Ormond Beach is the Birthplace of Speed.

If you are coming to Daytona for the races, when you have some downtime (and you will, trust me)-check out The Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens as they present SPEED: Images from the Private Collections of International Speedway Corporation and NASCAR January 28 through March 1, 2010.

The exhibition will feature rare racing still and motion photography on loan from the International Speedway Corporation and NASCAR. Also shown will be select objects, dating back to the pre-war beach races, which are currently held in NASCAR Archives.

Many exhibition images were produced by photographer Richard LeSesne, who documented the Daytona Beach area for 4 decades (43 years). He died in 1946 at age 66. His studio, located on Beach Street, and later on Palmetto Ave, produced aerials, postcards, and racing images for the city, chronicling the beach racing era. NASCAR Founder William C. “Big Bill” France, Sr. purchased much of the LeSesne collection in October 1951.

Also included in the SPEED EXHIBITION will be a number of NASCAR’s photos from the 1950’s and 60’s, taken by contract photographer T. Taylor Warren. Warren began shooting for NASCAR and select tracks in 1952 and continued until his death. T. Taylor preserved in history, through his lens, NASCAR’s first superspeedway (Darlington), and the organization’s progression from the dirt bullrings to the professional level of racing today. Warren died in 2008 at age 83.

The over 50 still photographic works selected for SPEED have been on private display in corporate headquarters in the Speedplex on International Speedway Blvd since 1996.

With the recent NASCAR and ISC corporate headquarters move, Speedway officials desired to share the artistic contents of the older space with the community through the Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens (OMAM).


Feb. 5th – First Friday Art Walk and Days of Thunder movie on the Casements lawn. Rated PG 13. This 1990 movie filmed largely in Daytona Beach stared Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Robert Duvall. FREE

Feb. 8,9,&10 – 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. SPEED Exhibiton Curatorial Walks with Eddie Roche and Laura Valantine at OMAM. FREE

Feb. 11 – 6:00– 8:00 p.m. OMAM Heritage Club Member Reception with Special Guest Betty Jane France by invitation for GOLD LEVEL MUSEUM MEMBERS.

The Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens is open Mon. – Fri., 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sat. & Sun. 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. There is a $2.00 suggested donation.

For more information on these events, call 386-676-3347, contact or visit us on the web at

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