SFO Museum

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.

Museum Monday: Insects at San Francisco Int’l Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has bugs!

But don’t worry. The bugs are all under glass and are part of a new exhibit hosted by the SFO Museum.

The exhibit, titled The Intriguing World of Insects includes more than 1000 specimens, fine art photography and rare books. There’s also an atomical model of Musca domestica, the inscect we know better as the house fly.

Display drawer of camouflage insect specimens – courtesy SFO Museum

Why an exhibit of insects?

Besides that fact that they look really pretty and non-threatening inside the cases, insects, the exhibit notes tell us, are the most diverse macroscopic organisms on the planet.

Researchers have identified over one million species of insects – so far – and estimate that five to thirty million more insects are waiting to be discovered.

In fact, there are more species of ants than species of birds, and more species of beetles than all species of plants combined.

Display drawer of ladybug (Coccinellidae) specimens – courtesy SFO Museum

Here’s a quick insect class, to get you ready for the exhibit:

*Insects, spiders, lobsters, and their cousins are arthropods. That means they have jointed legs and an external skeleton.

*The first insects appeared around 400 million years ago and evolved wings over 300 million years ago.

*Fossils of dragonfly ancestors, called griffinflies, had wingspans of over sixty centimeters. In contrast, the tiniest insects today have wingspans of less than one millimeter.

*But not all insects have wings. Some species, like silverfish, never evolved wings, while others, like camel crickets, lost them millions of years ago.

*Insects play integral roles in ecosystems. They pollinate the flowers of many fruits and vegetables, produce wax and honey and keep pest plants and insects at bay. Insects also recycle nutrients through decomposition, and are important food sources for other species.

Class over, for now.

Display drawer of scarab beetle (Scarabaeidae) specimens- Courtesy SFO Museum

The SFO Museum’s exhibition, The Intriguing World of Insects, comes to San Fransicsco International Airport from the Essig Museum of Entomology which is has a collection of more then 5 million arthropods stored at the University of California, Berkeley.

Look for the exhibit pre-security in SFO’s International Terminal, on the Depatures Level through August 18, 2019.

Display drawer of blue and green butterflies (Rhopalocera) and colorful beetles (Coleoptera) – courtesy SFO Museum
Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) sculpture –
by Gar Waterman  courtesy SFO


SFO Museum highlights aviation-inspired design

SFO Museum Aviation Exhibition

A new exhibit by the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport presents products from the 1930s to the 1950s that are great examples of aviation-inspired design.

Exhibition notes tells us that is was the Great Depression of the 1930s when the modern airplane became an inspiring symbol of hope.

SFO Museum Aviation Exhibition

“Sleek and shiny, the new all-metal aircraft lifted spirits and promised a brighter future. The emerging study of aerodynamics, using wind-tunnel testing, rapidly advanced the design of aircraft. With smoother streaming lines, airplanes were flying faster and farther and capturing the public’s imagination. The functionality of this new aerodynamic understanding, which became known as “streamline design,” extended to other forms of transportation, including trains, cars, and ships.”

SFO Museum Aviation Exhibition

And to products such as bicycles, typewriters and household appliances which were designed with sweeping lines, rounded corners and tapering teardrops in homage to the airplane.

The exhibition, Streamlines: Air Age Aesthetics for Industrial Design, is located pre-security in SFO’s Aviation Museum and Library (in the International Terminal) between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. through September 22, 2019.

SFO Museum Aviation Exhibition

Here are more objects from the exhibition. All photos courtesy SFO Museum.

SFO Museum Aviation Exhibition

Fresh art at SFO and PDX airports

If you’re traveling through San Fransisco International Airport or Portland International Airport anytime soon, keep an eye out for new art.

Courtesy Sticky Co.

At Portland International Airport’s Concourse D, look up to see Portaurora, a new permanent art piece by Sticky Co., a Portland- and Amsterdam-based artist team.

This is an interactive installation: as travelers pass underneath they’ll see colors and hear sounds inspired by the Northern Lights.

“Although this is mostly a technology-driven project, we added a simple element – applying glitter to the ceiling – to enhance the aurora effect,” says Andrew Haddock, who leads the Sticky Co. team. “We wanted passengers to experience a bit of a surprise as they pass through the space.”

At SFO Airport, the SFO Museum’s newest exhibition is all about artisan-made surfboards.

Longyboard – Dudley “Hap” Jacobs. Courtesy SFO Museum.
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This exhibition features twenty-seven wooden surfboards made by surfboard artists – or “shapers” – that show the progression of surfboard design. Included are boards made from rare woods that represent surfing’s ancient history, boards that represent designs popular in the early 1960s and surfboard shapes best for paddling into large waves.

The SFO Museum’s new exhibition: “Reflections in Wood: Surfboards & Shapers” will be on display in the pre-security area of the International Terminal at SFO International Airport through August 4, 2019.


Hot Curl – by Donald Takayama. Courtesy SFO Museum

Fresh exhibit at SFO Museum

A new SFO Museum exhibition at San Francisco International Airport offers a fun look at products offered to consumers during the 1950s, when a wave of consumerism spread across the United States.

The Modern Consumer; 1950s Products and Style – Courtesy SFO Museum

From the exhibition notes:

Driven by a thriving postwar economy, designers utilized bold styling to transform everyday objectsinto visually expressive items. Manufacturers unleashed an array of products tokeep pace with demand. Stores carried everything from portable televisions andpocket-sized radios to space-age toys and plastic dinnerware sets. Many familiesadorned their homes with modern furniture and automatic, push-buttonappliances. Consumers began to purchase items because they were the latest and greatest things.”

1950 lunchboxes. From The Modern Consumer; 1950s Products and Style – SFO Museum 

Advertising and credit replaced rationing and restraint, and a growing number of middle-class families engaged in a spending spree. Shopping centers and indoor malls with vast, paved parking lots catered to new suburban housing developments that extended from cities and towns. Often located at the intersections of major roads and highways, shopping centers offered easy access to a multitude ofsupermarkets and stores.”

Comedy /Tragedy TV Lamp from the 1950s – courtesy SFO Museum 

“At home, television exerted a profound influence on the development of a consumer-based popular culture. TV lamps glowed atop television sets while families ate pre-packaged TV dinners on Melamine trays. Networks divided viewers into target audiences and advertisers spent large sums to promote their products. Official toys and games were marketed alongside children’s programs. Elvis Presley performed tomillions of TV viewers, launching rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream and a craze for 45-RPM records. From tabletop jukebox selectors and portable record players to battery powered robots and space-themed lunchboxes, this exhibition presents examples of futuristic styling and innovative marketing from the golden age of consumerism.”   

The Modern Consumer; 1950s Products and Style

 
The Modern Consumer – 1950s Product and Style is on display post-security in Terminal 3 at San Francisco International Airport 3 through October 2019.