Press Release

A Modern Approach: Mid-Century Design


CONTACT: Charles Schuler

Director of Communications
Communications & Marketing
San Francisco International Airport

A Modern Approach: Mid-Century Design
New exhibition features modern designers and artists from the 1930s-1960s

SAN FRANCISCO - August 24, 2016 - Mid-twentieth-century modern design balanced expression with efficiency and utility.  Geared towards everyday living, modern design redefined housewares, furniture, and decorative arts.  The form of each object followed its function, with innovative construction methods finished in natural tones and bold colors.  Working in the spirit of their time, mid-century designers created items that lent style and comfort to the necessities of modern life.  By the early 1950s, the most distinctive American furniture and decorative arts expressed a refined modern design, celebrated by Arts & Architecture magazine and in museum exhibitions.

Mid-century designers announced the modern era through the clear and concise use of new materials such as plastic, aluminum, and molded plywood.  The husband-and-wife team of Charles (1907–78) and Ray (1912–88) Eames implemented the brilliance of good design on the greatest scale, with more than two million of their fiberglass chairs sold through Herman Miller by 1966.  On the other end of the spectrum, art and design converged in unique artisan and craft items to personalize modern interiors.  Overall, mid-century designers introduced a multitude of new products for modern living, and their best designs stood effortlessly on their own or harmoniously within a group.  This exhibit presents a sampling of modern design from the 1930s to the 1960s through examples of mid-century studio art, graphic design, and manufactured goods.


Special thanks to Steve Cabella, the Modern i Shop, and Eames Collector for making this exhibition possible.


A Modern Approach: Mid-Century Design is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport.  This exhibition is accessible to all airport visitors from August 27, 2016 to April 9, 2017.


The online version of this exhibition is viewable at:


About SFO Museum  

SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public.  The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport.  Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation.  To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit Follow us on and


About San Francisco International Airport 

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 44 international cities on 37 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow us on and