Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Section of Now Boarding Features Airport Nostalgia from LAX

The exhibition Now Boarding: Fentress Airports + The Architecture of Flight takes visitors on a journey through six airports designed by Curtis Fentress. The designs featured meld art and practicality, embodying the regions they were designed for.

One section of the exhibition evokes a particular sense of nostalgia by examining the airline ephemera of bygone days. A TWA first class menu from the 1960s offers “Flavors of the World” including Sanka as one of the drink offerings. There is an American Airlines brochure advertising “The New and Wonderful Meaning of Air Travel by American Airlines in the Jet Age.”  These objects—posters, stewardess uniforms, and in-flight service items, among other designs—bring to mind the excitement that came with traveling to exotic cities during the golden age of air travel. They come to us from an interesting museum located adjacent to the Los Angeles International Airport called the Flight Path Learning Center & Museum.

Denver Art Museum's associate curator of architecture, design and graphics, Darrin Alfred, recently had the opportunity to visit the Flight Path to browse through their collection.  He captured some great pictures of all sorts of material from model airplanes to retro stewardess uniforms.  Here’s a peek at what he saw.

Exhibitions at the Flight Path include a panoramic mural saluting the 75th anniversary of LAX and Los Angeles World Airports as well as the Centennial of Flight. Other exhibits showcase development of airlines, aircraft and aviation firms.  If your summer vacation plans take you to LAX, keep in mind this gem sitting just next door. Or better yet, beat the summer heat right here in Denver and come visit Now Boarding to see a selection of the collection of the Flight Path.

Now Boarding is on view July 15 through October 7.

PSA stewardess model their uniforms in the turbine engine of an airplane.

PSA stewardess, or flight attendants, model their uniforms in the turbine engine of an airplane.
 

 

American Airlines first class china from the 1960s

American Airlines first class china from the 1960s.

 

Models of the Boeing Dreamliner

Models of the Boeing Dreamliner.

 

A selection of TWA boarding pass holders

A selection of TWA boarding pass holders.

 Image credit: DAM staff members view a model of DIA at the Fentress Architects Denver office in spring 2012.

Sarah Cucinella-McDaniel is the associate registrar in the exhibitions and collections services department at the Denver Art Museum. Sarah has been at the DAM since 2004 and her favorite exhibition that has been on view here is Gees Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt.