Press Release

Sunburn - New exhibition features a series of images by Chris McCaw that take photography back to its primal beginnings

CONTACT:  Charles Schuler   
Associate Deputy Airport Director
Communications & Marketing
San Francisco International Airport  
650-821- 5031       

Sunburn: New exhibition features a series of images by Chris McCaw that take photography back to its primal beginnings
New exhibition features a series of images by Chris McCaw that take photography back to its primal beginnings

SAN FRANCISCO -- SFO Museum is pleased to present Sunburn by photographer Chris McCaw. Sunburn comprises twelve one-of-a-kind gelatin-silver, black-and-white photographs in which the sun has burnt its path onto light-sensitive negatives during sunrise on the west side of the San Francisco Bay looking east, near San Francisco International Airport. McCaw accidentally discovered this process when failing to close his camera’s shutter by sunrise after an all-night exposure of the stars during a camping trip in 2003. To keep the sun at the center of the frame, McCaw moved the camera for every single paper negative. McCaw calculated the number of exposures, selected the best optic and camera format (size of the paper negative), then finally, decided the desired position of the sun’s movement in each frame. McCaw states that his work "combines art and science—it's grounded in the physical world and immediately connected to place."
Chris McCaw was born in 1971 in Daly City, California, and received a BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He has continuously pursued the artistic and professional advancement of the medium of photography. His work is held in numerous museum collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; London’s Victoria and Albert Museum; George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York; Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive; Portland Art Museum; and Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
More information and imagery from the exhibition may be found at:
Sunburn by Chris McCaw, courtesy of the artist and Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, is located pre-security in Terminal 2, Departures Level, San Francisco International Airport. The exhibition is on view to all Airport visitors from June 11, 2013 to August 31, 2013. There is no charge to view the exhibition.

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 country’s 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. For more information, please visit
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