SFO Museum

Fresh art at San Francisco Int’l Airport: the Cat in Art

Cat night-light late 18th–early 19th century. Courtesy SFO Museum

The SFO Museum is hosting a new exhibit at San Francisco International Airport featuring more than one hundred objects celebrating cats.

There are an estimated 600 million domesticated cats worldwide, with cats edging out dogs as the most popular modern-day pets.

Historically, cats were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians and celebrated as symbols of good luck throughout Asia. In Europe, cats were associated with magic, witchcraft, and evil spirits and were persecuted for centuries before they gained cultural acceptance

Although officially condemned in Medieval Europe, cats were praised by painters, sculptors, and intellectuals during the Renaissance, with Leonardo da Vinci proclaiming that “even the smallest feline is a masterpiece,” the exhibition tells us.

Caticons: The Cat in Art, explores the history of the cat and its allure through art, literature, and decorative arts from around the world and is on view in the pre-security area of the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport through April, 2019.

Here are some more images from the exhibit, courtesy of the SFO Museum exhibit:

Seated cats c. 1900

Temple cats – 19th to early 20th century

 

Fresh airport art to look for on your next trip

Here are some of fresh art exhibits to look for at some airports around the country:

Addoley Dzegede’s “Here and Elsewhere,” a 12 ft.-wide silkscreened work of pigment on cloth, is on view at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Terminal 2 between gates E10 and E12 through the end of October, 2018.

The airport currently has 29 equally intriguing works of art on view throughout the terminals, courtesy of the Lambert Art and Culture Program.

Christian Scott, North Beach Bandshell, Miami Beach, 2016.

A new exhibition at Miami International Airport on view through October, 2018, celebrates the 30th anniversary of The Rhythm Foundation, the award-winning local non-profit organization that showcases international artists in South Florida. Front Row to the World is an exhibition of 15 concert photographs near Gate D31 by Peruvian-born and Miami Beach-based photographer Luis Olazabal. 

Atomic Haystack by Isamu Noguchi. Courtesy SFO Museum

And at San Francisco International Airport, the SFO Museum has two installations exploring the relationship of Isamu Noguchi’s paper and bamboo Akari lanters with his steel and bronze plate sculpture. Look for these pieces pre-security in the SFO International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby through January 6, 2019

 

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

 

Got popcorn? Here are the films you can see at SFO Airport

Here’s hoping you favorite actor or film won an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

And here’s to being able to see films not just on airplanes, but in airports.

Portland International and Minneapolis-St. Paul International have post-security spaces where passengers can watch short films and at San Francisco International Airport there’s a pre-security Video Arts screening room in the International Terminal departures lobby.

Presented by the SFO Museum, SFO’s screening room features a rotating exhibition of several short films, with a new film introduced weekly.

In case you aren’t passing through SFO soon, here are the short films being shown now.

In a Heartbeat (excerpt below) just rotated out of the line-up.

 

Beckoning cats at San Francisco Int’l Airport

A new exhibition from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport features a wide variety of maneki neko – those beckoning cat figurines we see today in the windows of Japanese and Chinese restaurants, inviting customers to step inside.

From the exhibition, we learn that the tradition of making beckoning cat figures dates back to the late Edo period (1615-1868) and through the years these auspicious objects have been made in ceramic, plaster, copper, bronze, wood, stone and iron.

In many cases, you’ll see the cat holding up its left paw in an effort to bring luck and good fortune to a business. Sometimes the right paw is raised – which is meant to invite good fortune, health and happiness into a home.

The colors of the beckoning cats also have meaning: white represents happiness and satisfaction; black symbolizes safety and is a way to drive away evil; and gold symbolizes money and fortune. The bibs on many maneki neko also hold meaning and are often painted with coins and other traditional symbols of luck and fortune.


Maneki Neko: Japan’s Beckoning Cats is located post-security in Terminal 2, on the Departures Level of San Francisco International Airport through August 26, 2018. All the maneki neko are from the collection of the Mingei International Museum of San Diego. And all the photos here are courtesy of the SFO Museum.