airport art exhibits

Fresh airport art in Portland, Orlando & San Francisco

Courtesy Port of Portland

We may be staying home but airports are open. And so are their art programs.

Here is some of the fresh art on view now at Portland International Airport (PDX), Orlando International Airport (MCO) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

New concourse; new art at Portland International Airport

On July 15 Southwest Airlines is moving from Concourse C to the new Concourse E extension at Portland International Airport. 

In addition to offering the airport’s best view of Mt. Hood, the new concourse has more concessions and a major new piece of art by Jacob Hashimoto.

Poetry exhibit at Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is displaying it first-every poetry exhibition.

The show features poetry by 13 local writers, including Billy Collins, who is the former two-term Poet Laureate of the United States and the current Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Winter Park Institute.

Words in Flight – A Celebration of Orlando Area Poets includes poems inspired by the theme of flight, travel, and transformation paired with photographs from the airport’s archives.

Look for the exhibit through September 30, 2030 in the MCO Main Terminal, near the Checkpoint for Gates 70-129.

At SFO Airport: Eclectic Taste: Victorian Silver Plate

Courtesy SFO Museum

At San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the SFO Museum is hosting an exhibit of silver-plated housewares that show off the ornate Victorian style.

Courtesy SFO Museum

From the SFO Museum’s exhibit notes:

Produced in large quantities in England and the United States, silver plate was a hallmark of eclectic décor during the Victorian era (1837-1901).

By the late 1800s, many homes featured extensive collections of silver plate. The most elaborate items were found in the dining room and main parlor, where they served a variety of entertainment functions.

Ownership of silver plate became an indicator of social and economic status, and manufacturers created highly specialized and imaginative designs to meet consumer demand.

Courtesy SFO Museum

Eclectic Taste: Victorian Silver Plate is located post-security in SFO’s Harvey Milk Terminal 1 through December 13, 2020.

Art we’re missing at SFO Airport

We are missing the adventures that start at airports. And we’re missing all the great art and history exhibits that airports around the country offer.

For example, if we could go to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) right now we would take our time exploring some of the ongoing and new exhibitions offered by the SFO Museum.

Extra ‘O’ – African Barbershop and Hairdressing Signs (Terminal 2 Departures through November 1, 2020) features colorful hand-painted barbershop signs. The exhibit also displays items relating to hair in traditional African culture, including headrests, hair combs, and helmet masks.

And a just-opened exhibition features photographs from the early days of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park and SFO is hosting an exhibition of historical photographs by photographer R.J. Waters, who documented life in the park between 1896 and 1902.

The exhibition is on view through November 19, 2020, near Gate F5 in Terminal 3 and is part of the citywide celebration of the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park.

All photos courtesy of SFO Museum.

Travel Tidbits from Miami International Airport

There seems to be a lot going on at Miami International Airport.

Some lucky passengers were treated to a pop-up tango performance:

A new exhibit, titled Imprinted, featuring 16 images by Argentine photographer Marina Font, is on display at MIA’s  gates D-22 and D-25, through February 18, 2020.

Marina Font – Dos Mundos

Font photographs objects that evoke a particular place or personal history to explore ideas about identity, gender, territory, language and memory

suitcase photo
Marina Font – untitled suitcase series

And MIA recently showed off its new $324-million state-of-the-art, fully automated baggage handling system.

The system can screen and transport more than 7,000 bags an hour, which doubles the speed and efficiency of baggage screening and delivery for flights in MIA’s Central and South terminals.

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.