Smithsonian Institution
America On The Move

Representing the period from the 1870’s to the 1980’s, America on the Move illustrates how travel and transportation have shaped American lives, landscapes, cultures, and communities.

From horse-drawn wagons to trains, to our country's love of cars, the exhibition brings to life the multitude of artifact vehicles and transportation-related-objects meticulously collected by the Smithsonian for this exhibit.

73 Resin-Hardened Figures, Painted In A Restricted Palette

Completed: November 2003

Designer: Museum Design Associates

Client: Smithsonian Institution

"It's absolutely thrilling to visit the Smithsonian now and see our figures on every floor. What an honor to have played such an integral part in creating these exhibits for our nation's most important history museum."

-Karen Atta, Owner

project details

America on the Move is the single largest figure project that Atta, Inc. has undertaken with 73 life-size figures, seven animals and numerous hand-sculpted objects.

Atta’s goal in creating these figures was to imbue each one with its own distinct character, so that even if engaged in a seemingly ordinary or passive activity (for example, walking or standing) the vignette would come to life. Figures travel in cars, ride trains, trams, buses and bicycles.

Each figure was cast from life in Atta’s studio, clothed in specific period costume, resin-hardened and finally painted. The animals include three horses, two dogs and a cat and were all sculpted by hand. For the market scene, produce ranging from pineapples, apples and pumpkins to pork chops and sausages, were created from custom molds all fabricated in our studio