Posts in the category "Exhibits":

Museum Monday: aluminum Christmas Trees


Heading to Wisconsin this holiday season?

If you are, be sure to stop by the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison to see the largest exhibit of silver, pink, gold and green Evergleam aluminum Christmas trees.

Created by the Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, WI, in partnership with a company that had patented some of the design elements such as paper tube for storing branches, more than a million Evergleam trees were sold during the 1960s.

According to the museum:

Aluminum trees quickly found their place in contemporary popular culture and soon attracted the attention of critics who proclaimed them symbols of the commercialism of Christmas. In the television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965), Lucy wanted “the biggest aluminum tree [Charlie Brown] could find, maybe even painted pink.” Charlie ultimately selected a real, but skimpy tree because it better reflected his view of the true spirit of Christmas.

And here’s an interesting tidbit:  the museum notes that branches on Evergleam aluminum Christmas trees have a connection to a military item from World War II:

“American airplanes dropped tiny strips of metal, called chaff, to block enemy radar. Evergleams utilized similar finely cut foil, which could be easily twisted into various forms.”

pink aluminum


’tis the Season – an exhibit of aluminum Christmas trees will be on display at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison through January 11, 2014.

Vintage Indy 500 cars at Indianpolis Int’l Airport

Car racing fan?

Then you might like the fresh set of vintage Indianapolis 500 race cars that are on display at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND).

IND 14 car

The #14 Bardahl Special led more laps of the 1966 Indianapolis 500 than any other car.

Driver Lloyd Ruby took the lead from defending world champion Jim Clark on lap 65 and proceeded to lead 68 of the next 86 laps. Just when it appeared the race might be Ruby’s, a chronic oil leak developed, causing the car to be black-flagged twice and finally retired after 166 of the 200 laps. In the summer of 1968, sporting a different paint job, it was one of the cars used in the making of the motion picture “Winning” starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Robert Wagner

Find it: on Concourse A near the exit to Civic Plaza.



“This car appeared at Indianapolis three times, driven in 1957 and 1958 by Rodger Ward (winner of the “500” in 1959 and 1962, but in different cars) and in 1959 by Len Sutton (who finished second to Ward in 1962, also in another car). Although it was entered each time with a 170-cubic-inch supercharged Offenhauser engine, it was decided for 1958 to switch to a more standard 255-cubic-inch non-supercharged version. Ward was running second in 1958 when a magneto failed after 93 laps, but later that summer he won the prestigious 200-mile race at Milwaukee.”

Find it: on Concourse B near the exit to Civic Plaza

Helsinki Airport art cinema & Earhart’s plane twin

Helsinki movie


Helsinki Airport just opened a relaxation area.

Now there’s yet another cool amenity at that airport: an art cinema.

For the next six month’s the airport’s art gallery at gate 37 will be hosting an Art Cinema and showing the work of Finnish media artists.

First up: films about the Finnish people’s relationship with nature.

“Enter the red interior of ArtCinema. Take a seat and allow media art to steer your mind to another world. Return with a refreshed mind, and enjoy your flight,” said Art Cinema Anna Forsman in a statement. 

Amelia Earhart

And a new exhibit about Amelia Earhart is opening in Seattle on October 12 at the Museum of Flight.

“In Search of Amelia Earhart,” features a 1935 Lockheed Electra airliner that is the same type of plane as Amelia Earhart’s and one of only two in existence. This one has the same modifications as those made to Earhart’s plane and this one was flown around the world in 1997 on the 60th anniversary of Earhart’s global flight attempt.

For Museum of Flight, Seattle

The Museum’s Lockheed Electra passes Seattle on its final flight, Sept. 21, 2013. Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/The Museum of Flight.

The museum’s “Amelia” exhibit tells Earhart’s story through original photographs, newspapers, newsreel footage and Earhart’s personal belongings including her pilot’s helmet and goggles, and the only known surviving piece of the Lockheed Electra Earhart flew on her ill-fated flight around the world in 1937.

Not in that exhibit: Earhart’s iconic leather flight jacket which is in storage at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. More about that here.

What did Leonardo da Vinci know about airplanes?


courtesy Smithsonian Institution Library


The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will be displaying Leonardo da Vinci’s “Codex on the Flight of Birds,” from Sept. 13 until Oct. 22.

The Codex – an early notebook – was created ca. 1505 and shows that da Vinci had a keen interest in human flight.

He explored bird flight and behavior and made sketches and descriptions of devices and aerodynamic principles related to mechanical flight that predate the invention of the airplane by 400 years.

In addition to displaying the original notebook, the museum is setting up interactive stations that allow visitors to virtually leaf through the 18 folios (two-sided pages) of the Codex.

A model of an ornithopter, an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings, will be on view at the entrance of the exhibition. The model is based on a drawing by da Vinci.

Can’t make it to Washington D.C. during the 40 days of this special exhibition? Here’s a short video about the Codex.


America’s Cup artifacts at SFO Museum


Skipper Harold Vanderbilt and crew on deck of Enterprise 1930. photograph from the Edwin Levick Collection; Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Courtesy SFO Museum

A new exhibition featuring artifacts and historic imagery from the first sixteen campaigns of the America’s Cup contest is now at the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport, coinciding with the city’s hosting of the thirty-fourth contest for the America’s Cup.


The exhibit offers a historical view of the first eighty-six years of the international sailing competition with great images, ship’s wheels, life rings, crew sweaters, navigational equipment and other artifacts.

Find America’s Cup: Sailing for International Sport’s Greatest Trophy pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport through February 2014.

Can’t make it to SFO but interested in the exhibition? Lucky you: many of the images are included in the on-line exhibition.

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