The year was 1925, and the periodical was The Saturday Evening Post. Henry Ford took out an ad explaining his mission and that of the Ford Motor Company. It was called “Opening the Highways to All Mankind,” and it featured a family overlooking a hilly landscape dotted with cars and Ford manufacturing facilities in the background.
The ad boasted, “Riding on the people’s highway should be within easy reach” and “In accomplishing its aims the Ford institution has never been daunted by the size or difficulty of any task. It has spared no toil in finding the way of doing each task best. It has dared to try out the untried—with conspicuous success.”
The painting used to create the ad had been virtually unseen, until mid-2012, and has been restored and now unveiled at the Henry Ford Museum. The painting is highlighted in a new addition to the museum’s “Driving America” exhibit.
“The painting itself is very representative of the story we tell in the ‘Driving America’ exhibit every day,” said The Henry Ford President Patricia Mooradian. “It’s the story of how the automobile has changed the American landscape, and made our lives easier along the way.” The Henry Ford led restoration of the painting and a paper print of the ad, supported by a grant from Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm.
The restoration of the painting also is tied to a series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the company founder’s birth this year. To learn more about celebratory activities and the Driving America exhibit, click here.