"In 1999, SFO Museum (SFOM) became the first museum in an airport to receive accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and is a widely imitated model for museums operating in public arenas."
Every year, millions of travelers pass through more than twenty galleries located throughout the terminals, which feature a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions.
Open to the public 24-hours/day in locations throughout the terminals at SFO, exhibitions ranging from the ancient world to modern pop culture bring a flavor of the Bay Area to millions of travelers from all over the world.
Curators at SFO Museum borrow rare objects from private collections, public institutions, or other museums. My job was to take their research and writing and bring it to life in large graphics that tell the story behind the artifacts.
SFO Museum exhibited fine art photography in six gallery locations, which featured work by both local and world-famous photographers such as Nina Katchadourian, Harold "Doc" Edgerton, Pirkle Jones, and Imogen Cunningham.
In each series I attempted to capture the spirit of the work in the typography of the introduction and wall treatments. I called this "type calisthenics," since a new exhibition was installed about once every month.
Large-format graphics were used to gain attention in the expansive environment. Installing graphics or exhibitions in the busy airport environment was challenging, and involved coordination with airport security and facilities in addition to the installation crew.
The 80th anniversary of SFO, a special event with a detailed public program, included hanging 12 very large, 2-sided banners across the atrium of the International Terminal featuring photos from SFO's early days.
SFO figures prominently in the history of aviation, was home of the famous China Clipper, and was an important link to Asia and the Pacific. SFO Museum holds a large collection of aviation-related objects of all kinds.
Permanent and rotating exhibitions tell stories spanning the history of flight, from the earliest hot air balloons and literature, flight attendant roles and uniforms, technology, aviation toys, airline marketing, and much more.
SFO Museum relied on me for a wide variety of design tasks, but technically I was employed as a Curator and would often need to don the white gloves and handle authentic, rare museum objects. Studio photography or high-resolution scanning of museum objects was routine, and I would often assist with installations of exhibitions.
Besides design and production of graphics for the exhibitions, responsibilities included video editing, in-situ photography and archive of the exhibitions, printing booklets, brochures and managing print vendors, pretty much anything related to computers or technology, and managing the SFO Museum website.