Mini trip report: San Francisco airport (really!)

There’s a museum in San Francisco International Airport, with exhibits all around the different terminals. A library too, but I gather it’s mostly history-of-aviation stuff and I didn’t go to that. The part of it that I visited was right between check-in and the security line for international departures. It’s not huge; about a dozen or so small cases. But it’s legit!

The exhibit on when we went was Egyptian Revival: an Everlasting Allurewhich is about, you guessed it, Egyptian Revival art. I’ve always been fascinated by the way popular culture interprets the past, as you’ll know if this isn’t the first post by me you’ve read (and if it is, welcome!), so this was really interesting. The exhibit covers a couple of different eras of fashionable Egyptian stuff, including the late 19th century and the post-King-Tut 20s, with some things being a little later. Is there a word for that kind of faux-Egyptian art, as though one were to say Chinoiserie? I have no idea.

Anyway, highlights included:

Scarab humidor -- eternal life for your cigars!
Scarab humidor — eternal life for your cigars!

20150319_175340 20150319_175334 20150319_175327

I never see Egyptian Revival stuff at vintage fairs or whatever, but maybe it’s because I’m not looking hard enough. Possibly someone’s missing a trick. Get on it, Etsy.

I think the attribution on this exhibit card is backward, but the cover looks amazing.
I think the attribution on this exhibit card is backward, but the cover looks amazing.
Not the Steve Martin one.
Not the Steve Martin one.
Because why not.
Because why not.
Hollywood history *and* popular occultism? Be still my heart.
Hollywood history *and* popular occultism? Be still my heart.
Your one-stop shop for making your house look like a tomb!
Your one-stop shop for making your house look like a tomb!
Cigarette cases, inkwells, and ... I forget.
Cigarette cases, inkwells, and … I forget.
2015-03-20 00.52.17
And of course bling.

2015-03-20 00.51.52So yeah! That was an exhibit that I would actually have gone to see at a museum, only free (which is not as universal in the US as it is here) and conveniently located between dropping off our bags and taking off our shoes. A fitting end to the journey.

Advertisements
Mini trip report: San Francisco airport (really!)

Movie Monday: Short films!

I kind of forgot it was Monday until there wasn’t enough time to watch 55 Days at Peking, so instead you’re getting short films and you’re gonna like ’em.

Last time I was in California, I went to a museum in Palo Alto, where I’m from, the Museum of American Heritage. To be honest, I was mainly there to see a Lego display, but my wife and I went through the museum, which turned out to be very nice indeed. One of the displays was this film footage of San Francisco, shot by sticking a camera on the front of a cable car in 1906, only days before an earthquake levelled large areas of the city.

Same location, shortly afterward.
Same location, shortly afterward.

So anyway, an interesting historical snapshot, not just because of the earthquake but because of the period, one where cars are only just beginning to displace horses on the streets of an American city.

Something I love finding in history is the introduction of things that are now totally commonplace. Consider this 1936 promo for parking meters:

I think the thing that’s most interesting about this is that it’s phrased as if it were a commercial — it sounds like an ad, even though it’s not selling anything. I wonder if that’s to do with the fact that it’s introducing something that people tend to think of as a nuisance. Also, “no nickel, no parky!” reminds us that you can’t really ever really guarantee a historical American experience will be missing some casual racism.

Speaking of things that ape other types of media presentation, check out this … whatever it is … telling Christians about how to get ready for the Rapture. It’s really interesting, in this day and age of “oh, people don’t really believe that, and by claiming they do you’re making fun of them, you bully” to see someone straight up endorsing the sudden-disappearance model of the Rapture.

I was going to post up some WW2 propaganda videos, but the Youtube comments sections were really depressing.

Movie Monday: Short films!