As most museumgoers know, the works on display in a gallery are typically only the tip of the iceberg of an institution’s true collection. While the Met displays tens of thousands of artworks daily, in its vaults are over two million works kept in storage. This phenomenon is common worldwide, and is often due to the spatial constraints of trying to show as much as possible without putting any of the works at risk of theft or damage. But while one can imagine how paintings or photographs may be stored, what happens when your museum houses something like dozens of cars? Thanks to German photographer Steffen Jahn, we can see it for ourselves, as he was given permission to photograph the secret warehouse of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
The museum features over 80 iconic cars in its permanent exhibit, but to accommodate for the rest of their vast collection has built a warehouse like something out of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark
The museum features over 80 iconic cars in its permanent exhibit, but to accommodate for the rest of their vast collection has built a warehouse like something out of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It seems as if every famous Porsche has a home in this building, with endless rows of vintage models contained in wooden crates, stacked on steel frames, or simply covered in white cloths. Just a couple of these cars could’ve covered the cost of building this warehouse, with models ranging from F1 racers to motorcycles to street cruisers; all waiting patiently for some future special exhibit they could be featured in. It seems almost tragic that such a density of beautiful rides has to be kept in storage, but take solace in the fact that they belong to a museum that caters to the public and that treats their cars with the utmost importance. This state-of-the-art warehouse keeps the cars safe and in pristine condition, and in time they will be brought to daylight for special exhibits (or even loaned out to other museums), because if history has taught us anything it’s that cargo this precious can stay hidden for only so long.