Museums

PHX Airport celebrates National Park Centennial

PHX Grand Canyon 1932

Grand Canyon, 1932, courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park

The National Park Service turns 100 this year and to celebrate the Phoenix Airport Museum at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has put together an exhibition  showcasing the diverse range of Arizona’s National Park offerings.

Each of Arizona’s parks is represented with historic images and objects.

PHX Pot

Flagstaff Black on White Bowl, 1100s, clay, courtesy of Wupatki National Monument

The selection includes ancient pottery from early cultures, a button from a Buffalo Soldier’s uniform, a fossil cast of an early reptile from pre-historic times and a boat that was used by Otis ‘Dock’ Marston in 1963 for a complete traverse of the Grand Canyon. There is even a slab of petrified wood that lived 225 million years ago.

phx petrified wood

 

PHX Gallery

On August 25 – from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – two National Park Rangers from Arizona parks will be in the PHX Gallery in Terminal 4 answering questions and offering more information about the Find Your Park in Arizona exhibit, which is on display through Jan. 29, 2017.

 

Free museums this weekend

When I’m not in an airport, I’m checking out museums – especially on the first weekend of each month when the Museums on Us program gives Bank of America cardholders free access to more than 150 museums and cultural institutions around the country.

Adler_Ivory_Telescope

Ivory telescope from the Alder Plantarium

If I could zip around the country, I’d use my bank card to gain free access this weekend to the Alder Planetarium in Chicago (general admission: $12), to see the telescope collection and the temporary exhibition that explores the post-Pluto question: What is a Planet?.

Alder image

I’d also head to American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore to see the Big Hope Show – which is closing soon – and to Morristown, New Jersey to see the Toothpick World exhibition and the fortune -tellers, gambling machines and other early coin-operated entertainment machines at the Morris Museum.

1_Intro_assorted machines_courtesy Morris Museum

Museum Monday: SFO Museum’s latest offering

Platter, Tomb of the Emperor Shah Jehan (Taj Mahal) pattern c. 1824–30s Oriental Scenery Cartouche series maker unknown possibly Staffordshire, England earthenware, blue underglaze Collection of Michael Sack . Courtesy SFO

Platter, Tomb of the Emperor Shah Jehan Collection of Michael Sack . Courtesy SFO

The newest exhibit from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport, “From Print to Plate: Views of the East on Transferware,” features early nineteenth-century blue-and-white transferware with scenes of India, the Middle East, and China.

You’ve likely seen examples of transferware or transferware-like plates, but never looked closely at the actual images there. If you’ve got a some time to spend at SFO on a layover, here’s your chance.

This exhibition features blue-and-white wares made by Spode and a number of other British potters featuring scenes of famous architectural views of India, such as the Taj Mahal, drawn from early illustrated books, such as ‘A Picturesque Tour along the Rivers Ganges’ and ‘Jumna in India’ (1824) to scenes of Turkey and China taken from ‘Views in the Ottoman Empire’ (1803) and ‘A Picturesque Voyage to India by the Way of China’ (1810). The prints are alongside the corresponding plates and all come from the collection of Michael Sack.

from Print to Plate

courtesy SFO Museum

 

‘From Print to Plate: Views of the East on Transferware’ is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport and will be on view through March 19, 2017.

More images from the exhibition are on line here.

See Neil Armstrong’s gloves & helmet

Neil Armstrong's gloves & helmut - courtesy Smithsononian

Image: Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

In commemoration of the 47th anniversary of the first moon landing (July 20, 1969) the National Air and Space Museum is displaying Neil Armstrong’s lunar extravehicular gloves and helmet for the first time since 2012.

The artifacts recently underwent conservation and will be on view until July 20, 2017 at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.- which is just one stop from Washington’s Dulles International Airport on the Fairfax Connector (#983) bus.

Looking forward… Armstrong’s complete Apollo 11 spacesuit will go on display in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 2019.

In preparation for that anniversary, the museum is asking the public for photos of the spacesuit on display when it was on a national tour back in  in 1970, or of the gloves and helmet on later tours and the spacesuit on display at the Smithsonian between 1971 and 2006.

Neil Armstrong's spacesuit. Courtesy National Air & Space Museum

Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit. Courtesy National Air & Space Museum ,

On its website, the Smithsonian also has a high resolution 3-D scan of the Apollo 11 command module “Columbia,” that allows anyone with an internet connection to explore the entire craft including its intricate interior – something you can’t do when you’re at the museum in person.

 

Side trip Tuesday: antique arcade amusements

1_Intro_assorted machines_courtesy Morris Museum

In the early 20th century, all it took was a nickel, or maybe a dime, to bring to life the vending machines, gambling devices and other coin-operated mechanical amusements in “For Amusement Only,” an exhibition on view through October 10 at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey.

My slide-show about the exhibit first appeared on CNBC.com, but here’s a preview of some fun arcade items from the show:

The Seaside Musicians played several melodies and had wooden cams to provide animation that allowed the musicians’ heads to turn from side to side and their arms to play the musical instruments. A coin would buy about a minute-long performance.

7_Seaside Musicians Automaton

Some machines offered a few minutes of music or entertainment in exchange for a coin, others delivered products such as postage stamps, tobacco, cigarettes and sweets.

The Automatic Chicken clucked and dispensed (from its rear end) either an actual hardboiled egg or an egg-shaped tin with candy or treats.

4_Automatic chicken - late 1890s(Have caption)

Fortune telling machines based on early models such as this one, called “Grandmother Predictions” (circa 1932), can still be found in some modern-day arcades

8_Fortune Teller-

See the full For Amusement Only slide-show here.

(All photos courtesy of the Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey)