San Francisco Internatinal Airport

New SFO Museum exhibit features Chinese ceramics

If you’re heading to or through San Francisco International Airport (SFO) anytime soon, be sure to look for some of the permanent and temporary exhibits offered throughout the terminals by the SFO Museum.

One of the newest, titled Everyday Elegance in Chinese Ceramics, features an assortment of functional wares from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries representing various regions in China.

The exhibit includes oil lamps in the shape of animals, colorful hat stands, lively guardian lions or “foo dogs,” blue-and-white porcelain, rustic food storage jars, and more.

According to the exhibition notes:

Everyday objects are frequently embellished with a host of auspicious symbols to increase the likelihood of wish fulfillment. Rebuses or pictorial puns found on ceramics convey a variety of desires, from a harmonious marriage to the securing of rank, wealth, and longevity. Decorative motifs often take the form of flowers, birds, animals, children, or geometric designs. 

Looke for Everyday Elegance in Chinese Ceramics, in the pre-security area of the International Departures Hall (Gallery 4D) at San Francisco International Airport through mid-August.

All images courtesy of SFO Museum

SFO will rename its International Terminal for Diane Feinstein

The San Francisco Airport Commission approved a resolution to rename the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for the late Senator and former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who died in September.

Feinstein was a big supporter of the airport. She advocated for the construction of the airport’s first International Terminal, which opened in 1983 and played a major role in making sure BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit service, was extended to SFO.

While we’re at SFO

The SFO Museum shared this image of a model airplane to mark the anniversary of the first Pan American Airways scheduled flight, which took off on January 16, 1928 from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba.

The museum notes that the eight-passenger plane made the 90-mile trip in just under 90 minutes and that the fare was 50, or about $887 in today’s dollars.

Vintage radios on display at SFO Airport

The “Mystic” Radio Bug and headset c. 1927 – courtesy SFO Museum

Radio – the invention – was a transformational technological triumph of the 20th century and today some of the earliest radios – the objects – are sought after collectible objects.

A new exhibition – On the Radio – from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport brings together classic radio sets spanning sixty years of design, from crystal sets and luxury consoles, to stylish tabletop models and pocket-sized transistors.

Here are some highlights from the exhibition on view post-security on the Departures Level of SFO Terminal 3 through September 30, 2018. All photos courtesy SFO Museum.

Put on a podcast -or better yet, download an old-time radio classic – and take a tour.

Model 400–3 “Patriot” 1940


Model 21 “Minuette” 1932

X–11 Aladino 1949 


Regency TR–1 1954


Fresh art at San Francisco Int’l Airport

The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport, which is currently hosting exhibitions on everything from airline amenity kits and advertising icons to the art of Louis C. Tiffany has kicked off a new show with works by four artists whose work spans the five-decade history of studio glassmaking.

SFO _Christopherson

Maple Axis 2008 Elin Christopherson Courtesy of the SFO Museum and artist –

The exhibit is in Terminal 2 through May 2015 and includes work by Marvin Lipofsky, Richard (Dick) Marquis, John Lewis and Elin Christopherson, whose work is above.

If you’ve got some extra time at SFO, make your way to the airport’s Louis A Turpin Aviation Museum and Library, located inside the International Terminal lobby, where there’s an exhibit of airline luggage labels, bag tags and tickets from the collection through mid-December 2014.

Luggage label

Courtesy Louis A Turpen Aviation Museum & Library