Wit and whimsy – Victorian style – at SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is, so far, the only U.S. airport with an accredited museum. There are twenty galleries scattered throughout the terminals displaying always cool, ever-changing exhibitions of art, history, science.

So you may find yourself wishing for a longer layover or a flight delay here.

I usually do.

Right now, for example, pre-security in the International Terminal, there’s a new exhibit of more than fifty pieces of the nineteenth-century English and French glazed ceramic known as “majolica.”

This wine cistern celebrating Bacchus is my favorite:


Bacchus vase 1851–1897/ Courtesy of Nicolaus Boston

Not in the mood for majolica? Elsewhere in the airport, there are exhibit cases filled with flight attendant uniform caps, aviation toys, minerals and gemstones, and other fun stuff.

And there’s no admission charge.

To help you plan your SFO layover, here’s a link to the San Francisco Airport Art Museum’s list of what’s where – and when.

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