Press Release

New Exhibitions at SFO Focus on American Craftsmanship


Ron V. Wilson
Director, Bureau of Community Affairs
(650) 821-4000


New Exhibitions at SFO Focus on American Craftsmanship


SAN FRANCISCO – Two new exhibitions at the San Francisco Airport Museums explore traditions in American craftsmanship. The two shows, An Evolution of Form: The American Chair and Silver of the Americas, contain objects on loan from the permanent collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.


An Evolution of Form: The American Chair provides a survey of American chair design, beginning with the rectilinear armchair used in the American colonies and ending with the curved DCW (dining chair wood) designed by Charles and Ray Eames in the 1950s. In between are chairs in the William and Mary, Queen Anne and Chippendale styles of the eighteenth century, chairs in various Victorian styles of the nineteenth century, and chairs made by architects and designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Greene and Greene in the twentieth century. Located in International Terminal Galleries A-1 and G-1, the exhibition is on view now through November 2002.


Silver of the Americas, located in International Terminal Gallery A-2, presents the history of silversmithing in North, Central and South America from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Silver bowls, teapots and cups from the seventeenth and eighteenth century demonstrate the interconnections and influences of trade routes and migration patterns on colonial silversmiths. Next, the exhibition explores the rise of the large, commercial North American silver firms during the nineteenth century. In this era, the great demand for presentation plates, trophies and enormous sculptured silver centerpieces, along with new methods for mass production, led firms to employ sculptors rather than silversmiths as their chief designers. The exhibition comes full circle by presenting pieces from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century arts and crafts movement, a reaction against the mass production and return to traditional silversmithing techniques. In this section, the work of August Tiesselinck, a Dutch immigrant to California who worked in the arts and crafts style, is presented. Silver of the Americas will be on view through October 2002.


Both exhibitions are free of charge and accessible to the public twenty-four hours a day through the San Francisco Airport Museums program.


San Francisco Airport Museums

The San Francisco Airport Museums program 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. Today, the San Francisco Airport Museums features twenty-one galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions. A permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation is located in the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum.


For more information about the San Francisco Airport Museums, please contact Jane Sullivan at (650) 821-5123.