airport art exhibits

Fresh art at SFO Airport features shoes from around the world

Combat boot, Mickey McGowan (Apple Cobbler), courtesy SFO Museum


The newest exhibition from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport features footwear from around the world, including wedding shoes, early basketball sneakers, beaded moccasins, European clogs, Chinese children’s shoes, art shoes and more.

Here’s a sampling of the fantastic footwear on display in Stepping Out: Shoes in World Cultures, located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport through November 12, 2017.

Snow boots (Japan, palm fiber). Courtesy SFO Museum

Moccasins c. 1940
Gwich’in Alaska; courtesy SFO Museum

Sneakers c. 1910
Hood Rubber Co.; courtesy SFO Museum

Korean folk art at Miami Int’l Airport


As part of its ongoing program dedicated to showing handcrafted artwork from around the world, Miami International Airport recently opened “Hands of Korea”, a exhibition of tradition-based Korean fiber/textiles in the form of embroidery works, antique and contemporary Bojagi (wrapping cloths), traditional key holders, shoes, pouches, and traditional and contemporary Norigae (knotted ornaments).

Look for the exhibit through November in MIA’s South Terminal Gallery, on the Fourth Floor mezzanine of Concourse J pre-security.



Tidbits for travelers: art in AUS & PHX

“Travel/Places,” a new exhibit at Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) combines hand-scripted, journey-related quotes with illustrations of places traveled.  10 members of Austin’s Capital City Scribes contributed 12 works to this exhibit, which includes a piece by Abigail Hutchison incorporating the travel quote attributed to Saint Augustine: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page,” and this piece by Dee Day titled “Gone to Texas.”

You can see – and read – the entire “Travel/Places” exhibit in the Austin airport’s Airside West Gallery,  post-security, on the concourse behind the BookPeople bookstore, across from Gate 11.

Also, if you missed it at the Albuquerque, Pittsburgh or Atlanta airports, you can now see Nancy Judd’s Recycle Runway exhibit at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The exhibit includes dresses and accessories made from items such as aluminum cans, water bottles and junk mail. Highlights include a Rusty Nail dress made of, yes, rusty nails, a Red Glass Gown made of crushed glass, and this Faux Fur coat made of videotape.

Look for the Recycle Runway exhibit in Phoenix Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3 through August 8th.

Love the layover: slots at SFO

Most people try to avoid connecting flights when they’re flying from one part of the country to another. But if I can book a trip that offers the chance to spend an hour or two at San Francisco International Airport, I take it.

That’s because, with an airport museum program that organizes a few dozen exhibits a year, it’s a good bet there will be something fun and educational to see. And earlier this week I finally had an unhurried hour at SFO to tour the exhibit of more than 90 vintage gambling devices on display in Terminal 3.

For Amusement Only: Slot Machines and Other Gambling Devices of the Mechanical Age includes slot machines, guessing banks, coin drops, poker machines and punchboards dating from the late 19th through mid-20th centuries.  The machines are on loan from Joe Welch’s San Bruno American Antique Museum and will be on exhibit through May, 2010.

Once you’ve toured the gambling machine exhibit, head on over to the International Terminal, where there’s an exhibit of 36 vintage pinball machines, including a few you can play for free.

Classic games of chance at SFO International Airport


If Lady Luck is on your side, then your next plane trip will include a long layover at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Thanks to the San Francisco Airport Museums program, SFO always has about two dozen temporary and permanent exhibitions on display to keep travelers entertained. Two of the current shows are thematically linked – and especially intriguing.


The colorful history of pinball is explored in Pinball: from Bagatelle to Twilight Zone, on display in the International Terminal through April 2010.

Games on display are from the Pacific Pinball Museum and various private collections and range from the earliest and very basic pinball games from the late 1800’s to the multi-player,  feature-filled games of the 1970’s and 80’s.


Over in Terminal 3, there are more games.  


For Amusement Only: Slot Machines and Other Gambling Devices of the Mechanical Age includes more than 90 slot machines, guessing banks, coin drops, poker machines and punchboards from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries.


These objects are courtesy of Joe Welch’s San Bruno American Antique Museum and are located post-security in Boarding Area F until May, 2010.

You can find out more about these and other exhibitions at San Francisco International Airport on the San Francisco Airport Museums Web site.