Mickey Mouse

Giant spider webs at Philadelphia Airport

Philadelphia International Airport presents a marvelous and diverse program of both permanent and changing art exhibitions throughout the terminals.

In keeping with the season, one installation to seek out right now is The Repairer – eight large-scale glass spider webs created by artist Sharyn O’Mara in memory of the artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010).

PHL Spiderweb Sharyn O'Mara

Photo credit: Richard McMullin, Philadelphia International Airport

Here’s some background on the installation from the airport website:

Described as a “Grande Dame of American and European art,” Bourgeois is best known for her series of monumental metal spiders – the largest stands more than 30 feet tall. Although primarily a sculptor, Bourgeois also liked to draw. It was another medium to express her fascination with spiders and, in particular, their webs. Bourgeois had said that drawing was similar to a spider’s web: “it’s like the thread…it is a knitting, a spiral.“

Like Bourgeois’ gigantic spiders, O’Mara has fabricated similarly sized glass webs influenced by the late artist’s web drawings. O’Mara’s installation was inspired by Bourgeois, whose parents restored tapestries. Bourgeois once said, “The spider is a repairer. I came from a family of repairers. If you bash into the web of a spider, she doesn’t get mad. She weaves and repairs it.”

Look for Sharyn O’Mara’s The Repairer post-security in Terminal A-West through February 2011.

To see what else there is to do at Philadelphia International Airport, see my guide to Philadelphia International Airport on USAToday.com.

And, in the spirit of Halloween, here are two great cartoons my buddy Bob Rini found and posted on his highly entertaining blog, The Nine Pound Hammer.

This one is a Betty Boop cartoon that was banned in the 1930’s.

And this one is a very early Mickey Mouse cartoon.

Thanks, Bob!
And Happy Halloween.

Love the layover: vintage toy trains at San Francisco International Airport

A new exhibition at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is all about trains.

(New York Central Railroad with alphabet blocks (push toy) 1885-95; Collection of Rod Cornell)

Inside Track presents more than 200 vintage toy trains and accessories-including two miniature train layouts. In addition to realistic-looking trains, there are specialty items such as Mickey Mouse handcars from the 1930s and the “Lady Lionel,” which was a pastel train marketed to girls during the 1950s.

(Mickey Mouse handcar 1934-37 Lionel Corp., Irvington, New Jersey; Collection of David & Barbara Dansky)

Inside Track: Toy Trains is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall and is on view through April 2009. If you’re at the airport on November 19th, November 22-23rd, or December 6th and 7th, make an extra effort to seek out the exhibit. On those days local model train clubs will set up and run miniature train layouts.

(Blue Comet engine 1931-39; Lionel Corp., Irvington, New Jersey
Collection of David and Barbara Dansky)