Author Jack Kerouac’s original manuscript for On the Road, 1951. (This manuscript is on loan from the collection of James S. Irsay. Photograph Courtesy of Christie’s, New York. Copyright Estate of Anthony G. Sampatacacus and the Estate of Jan Kerouac)

Ed Ruscha (United States, born 1937), Dixie, Lupton, Arizona, 1962 (printed 2013). (Loan courtesy of the artist)

Thomas Hart Benton (United States, 1889–1975), Boomtown, 1928, oil on canvas. (Courtesy of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester: Marion Stratton Gould Fund.) Art © T. H. Benton and R. P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Arthur Rothstein (1915–1985), Landscape with House, 1936, gelatin silver print. (Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 84.XP.1445.4)

“... the people are in flight, and they come in to 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads. 66 is the mother road, the road of flight.”

—John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, 1939.

Route 66 postcard of Pasadena, California. (Courtesy of Joe Sonderman)

“Western Motel” neon sign, circa 1950. Collection of the Museum of Neon Art. (Photo courtesy of Museum of Neon Art)

Woody Guthrie’s Martin guitar, 1937. (Courtesy EMP Museum, Seattle, WA)