The Bugatti family was comprised of artists and artisans and as history has shown, were people whose designs represented the pinnacle of luxury and the best of an era. All the Bugattis exerted significant influence in their times and in various fields. The story of this family of artists, spanning at least three generations, is marked by failure and success, tragedy and triumph.
Patriarch Carlo Bugatti, began the dynasty as a painter, musical instrument maker, master cabinet and furniture maker, and silversmith. His first creations exhibited a new boldness of form, particularly a notable use of ovoid shapes.
Carlo’s son Rembrandt, respectfully named in honor of the great artist, was a renowned bronze sculptor, exhibiting his talent at an early age.
Rembrandt’s brother Ettore took his technical and artistic genius to the world of automotive design. He purchased his first vehicle in 1898 and, without any formal training, was able to improve its performance, the first of his countless automotive triumphs.
Grandson Jean followed in father Ettore’s footsteps in the automotive world. The factory was within the family’s country estate, and this integrated atmosphere exposed Jean to the design and manufacture of automobiles under the careful tutelage of his father. Jean was one of the early proponents of the streamlined styling movement that flourished in the 1930s.
The array of endeavors in which this family excelled required an amalgam of expertise, creativity, technique, innovation, and appreciation of beauty and design. The purpose of The Art of Bugatti, the Mullin Automotive Museum’s exhibition, is to recognize the undeniable contribution and significance of the work of these individuals and pay tribute to the enduring genius of the Bugatti family.