Press Release

September 29, 2021

Collecting Mobility: New Objects, New Stories

Opens at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation Oct. 23, 2021

(Dearborn, Mich. – Sept. 29, 2021) – How does an object get added to a museum’s collection? The Henry Ford’s latest limited-engagement exhibition, Collecting Mobility: New Objects, New Stories answers just that, taking guests behind-the-scenes and showing how the museum continues to grow its vast collection of more than 26 million artifacts. Opening October 23, 2021 and running through January 2, 2022, the exhibit showcases more than 30 rarely seen artifacts and tells their stories from the institution’s mobility collection, ranging from the late 1800s to the 2010s.

Collecting Mobility provides a true insider’s look at the work our team does to grow our collections for both the guests of today and those in the future,” said Patricia Mooradian, president & CEO, The Henry Ford. “Our ongoing work reflects our longstanding philosophy of collecting the stories of innovation that have changed our world.”

Through the lens of recent acquisitions, Collecting Mobility uncovers the process of selecting and adding new objects to The Henry Ford’s collection. From an insider’s look at the museum curation process to learning how new items are numbered, cataloged, and collected for programs, exhibits and more, guests will leave with a better understanding of how and why museums collect what they do.

Collecting Mobility features some of the institution’s most recent acquisitions, including the 2017 “Autonom” Driverless Shuttle Bus used at the Mcity test facility on the University of Michigan’s North Campus, a 2020 Ford Transit Van modified for use as a COVID-19 mobile testing facility, and a Lincoln Continental stretch limousine used by Pope Paul VI for a visit to New York City in 1965 and by the Apollo 13 astronauts for a parade in Chicago in 1970.

The exhibit also showcases how the institution collected artifacts for its newest permanent exhibit, Driven to Win: Racing in America, presented by General Motors. Some of these items, including the newly acquired 1989 NHRA Top Fuel Dragster driven to a championship by Gary Ormsby, will be added to Driven to Win following the closure of Collecting Mobility on Jan. 2, 2022.

Collecting Mobility is free with membership or admission to Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. For more information regarding the exhibit visit or follow @thehenryford on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

About The Henry Ford
Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at, its national television series The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Invention Convention Worldwide, the growing affiliation of organizations fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in K-12 students, The Henry Ford inspires individuals to unlock their potential and help shape a better future.