WASHINGTON, DC—The National Air and Space Museum offers a bounty of flight-related exhibits, both historic and educational. There are real planes and space shuttle parts suspended in the air and you can even pilot a flight simulator. In addition these fascinating opportunities that draw aviation buffs, military veterans and wide-eyed children, the museum is currently showing a beautiful art exhibit.
“Air Craft: The Jet as Art” features 33 photographs by Jeffrey Milstein that document jets as they prepare for landing. (Most are taken from the same perspective, capturing the belly of the planes.) The Smithsonian museum describes the approach as a photographic typology: a series of images on the same subject that when studied as a group distinguishes differences and similarities.
LAX is Milstein’s favorite place to photograph—he grew up near the Los Angeles airport—where he usually sets up on runway 24R. According to the exhibit copy, “The ideal conditions are a hazy overcast, but bright day, preferably in late afternoon, when light reflects off the ocean onto the bottom of the aircraft.”
Milstein’s images demonstrate both the art and elegance of the jet engineering and construction and well as the sophisticated and often celebratory design of their colorful graphics and logos.
The yearlong exhibit is on view from Nov. 25, 2011 to Nov. 25, 2012.
All photos by Arts Observer
Clockwise, from top left, Southwest Airlines 737-700, Maryland One; Alaska Airlines 737-400, Disney One; Alaska Airlines 737-400, Salmon-Thirty-Salmon; Southwest Airline 737-400, Nevada One (all 2-engine narrow-body airliners).
Left: Top row, left to right, Eastern Air Transport, Ford 4-AT-E Tri-Motor (3-engine historic airliner); US Airways, Airbus A319 (2-engine narrow-body airliner); Beechcraft Model 18 SNB-2 (2-engine light transport); American Airlines, McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (2-engine narrow-body airliner). Middle row, America West Airlines, Boeing 757-200 (2-engine narrow-body airliner); Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (4-engine bomber); Virgin Atlantic Airways, Airbus A340-600 (4-engine wide-body airliner); Quantas, Airbus A380 (4-engine wide-body airliner); Bottom row, DHL Cargo Douglas DC-8 (4-engine freighter); Northwest Airlines, Boeing 757-300 (2-engine narrow-body airliner); Bombardier, Challenger 604 (2-engine corporate jet); America West Airlines, Airbus A320 (2-engine narrow-body airliner). Right: China Airlines Boeing 747-400 (4-engine wide body airliner).