airport art exhibits

Scenic wallpaper exhibit at San Francisco Int’l Airport

Courtesy Zuber et Cie and SFO Museum

The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport is hosting a charming exhibition featuring a rare set of scenic wallpaper.

Scenic wallpaper? Yes.

It was and, in some forms, continues to be a thing.

Here’s the museum’s introduction to “Zuber: The Art of French Scenic Wallpaper”:

The French have manufactured several types of wallpaper over the centuries, though their nineteenth-century handcrafted scenic landscape papers are arguably the most spectacular. This unique wallpaper created a breathtaking panoramic experience with all the walls in a room covered with non-repeating scenes.

These mural-like papers transformed rooms, providing the opportunity for viewers to be swept away to an exotic place or immersed in an exciting period in history.

Scenic papers enjoyed a golden era in both Europe and North America from the first decade of the 1800s until the 1860s, though they remained in print well after this period.

Zuber et Cie is the only firm that fabricates these papers today. And they still use the original antique printing blocks, which have designated Historical Monuments by the French Ministry of Culture.

The SFO Museum exhibit includes a complete set of Views of North America wallpare as well as individual lengths from other series.

Here are few more images. You can see the full set on view at San Francisco International Airport in pre-security/departures level of the International Terminal through April 2020.

All photos courtesy SFO Museum.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

Hope you had a restful holiday weekend. Here are some travel tidbits from airports you may be visiting soon. Or may want to.

First: check out this nice assortment of souvenir snow globes I spotted over the weekend at the Budapest Airport. Quality-wise, these are nicer than the snow globes we come across in many airports, and these had a nice assortment of local buildings to boot!

Will you be passing through St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) before November, 2019?

Courtesy STL Airport

If so, be sure to look for the exhibit sent over by the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) that highlights the special connection between plants and people through history. Plants and People: The Collections of the Missouri Botanical Garden is on display through November 10, 2019 in the Lambert Gallery near the C Concourse exit in Terminal 1 .

Here are some more snaps from the exhibit:

Courtesy STL Airport
Courtesy STL Airport

And, at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the SFO Museum has a new exhibition all about… Victorian pedestals.

Sounds like an odd topic, but we trust the SFO Museum to bring us exhibits that not only look intriguing but teach us something as well.

Here’s the pitch on the pedestals:

Victorian pedestals, meant to showcase sculpture, are fascinating decorative art objects to behold. The most ornate pedestals were made in the United States during the Gilded Age—a time following the Civil War until the turn of the twentieth century, when the country experienced rapid economic growth. From the mid-1860s through the 1880s, in particular, collecting and displaying sculpture led to an increased demand for pedestals. Wealthy Victorians preferred elaborate furniture on a grand scale and richly ornamented rooms. Several pedestals displaying artistic objects might adorn the drawing room or parlor. Victorians selected pedestals that suited their tastes and living interiors. Pedestals, as a result, offer an intriguing look at the design styles popular at the time.

Courtesy SFO Museum

The Style of Display: Victorian Pedestals is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport through January 12, 2020.

Fresh art at PHX Sky Harbor Int’l Airport

When we travel we often seek out water as refreshment, in the form of $6.99 bottles of water we buy at airports. Water can also be a destination, in the form of visits we make to ocean beaches and mountain streams.

And, of course, water can provide artistic inspiration – as we see in the newest exhibition at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.


Rebecca McNerney’s fiber wall-hanging depicts dozens of illuminated backyard pools visible when flying ovfer Phoenix at night.


The Phoenix Airport Museum presents the art exhibition Water in the Desert, featuring water-themed work by 31 artists from Arizona, a state known for having a very dry climate.


Jerry Jacobson used water as an art medium by drawing with rust on paper.

Charlotte Bender, Arizona’s Ancient Seas, oil on canvas, depicts coyotes and saguaros coexisting with an ancient Arizona sea.

The exhibition is on view in eight pre-security display cases at PHX Terminal 4, level 3, and wil be there through July, 2019.

Fresh art at San Francisco Int’l Airport: the Cat in Art

Cat night-light late 18th–early 19th century. Courtesy SFO Museum

The SFO Museum is hosting a new exhibit at San Francisco International Airport featuring more than one hundred objects celebrating cats.

There are an estimated 600 million domesticated cats worldwide, with cats edging out dogs as the most popular modern-day pets.

Historically, cats were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians and celebrated as symbols of good luck throughout Asia. In Europe, cats were associated with magic, witchcraft, and evil spirits and were persecuted for centuries before they gained cultural acceptance

Although officially condemned in Medieval Europe, cats were praised by painters, sculptors, and intellectuals during the Renaissance, with Leonardo da Vinci proclaiming that “even the smallest feline is a masterpiece,” the exhibition tells us.

Caticons: The Cat in Art, explores the history of the cat and its allure through art, literature, and decorative arts from around the world and is on view in the pre-security area of the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport through April, 2019.

Here are some more images from the exhibit, courtesy of the SFO Museum exhibit:

Seated cats c. 1900

Temple cats – 19th to early 20th century

 

Charming chess sets on display at St. Louis Lambert Int’l Airport

Whether you’re a fan of playing chess and collecting chess sets or not, you’ll likely be intrigued by the exhibtion of 16 chess sets and artifacts on loan from the St. Louis-based World Chess Hall of Fame that are now on display at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Capturing Imagination: Pop Culture and Chess includes beautifully-sculpted, resin chess pieces including Avengers: Infinity War with characters Thor, Spiderman, Captain America, Iron Man and Black Panther. Other sets feature Hello Kitty characters on a chess board that doubles as a collector’s tin and cast and hand-painted pieces from Winnie the Pooh.

There is also a Star Trek tri-dimensional chess set with precision-cast pieces coated in sterling silver and 24-karat gold and sets that features chess pieces portraying Snoopy, Fred Flintstone, Miss Piggy, Big Bird and Bart Simpson.

Capturing Imagination: Pop Culture and Chess is on display at the Lambert Gallery in the Terminal 1 Bag Claim at St. Louis Lambert International Airport through November 4, 2018.