‘Skydreamers’ exhibition a tribute to flight, exploration

April 19, 2011

Artists’ perspectives on flight and the perspective that flight lends to art are joined in an exhibition by Stephen White that will appear at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, Calif., April 29 through Sept. 4.

Expressions of flight and space exploration, both real and fantasy, are depicted in some 150 works including paintings, posters, and memorabilia drawn primarily from flight and space material in White’s collection. From the first hot-air balloon ascensions to space flight, the “ Skydreamers” exhibition will portray “the great journey of discovery and its unifying impact on us all,” said the Autry’s announcement of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be set in the Autry Center’s George Montgomery Gallery. A 10-image sequence of a balloon’s ascent over Paris in the 1780s will be on display, as will the products of digital applications that allow modern-day artists to reinterpret space. Photographs of early aviation pioneers and aircraft capture achievements in the development of flight. Photographs of the earth and other planets taken from space will lead to the Hubble Space Telescope’s Ultra Deep Field—the deepest image of the universe yet taken. The exhibition also will include items from institutions, private collectors, and artists.

The exhibition and an illustrated catalog commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First International Air Meet held in the United States, at Dominguez Hills, Calif., in 1910.

Stephen White resides in Los Angeles, and has been involved with photography since 1975, when he opened one of the first galleries in the United States devoted to fine art and historical photography. He has been curator of three major museum exhibitions exclusively or primarily drawn from his collection, and has published numerous photographic catalogs and books.

“We are excited to present this exhibition, which provides a unique view of the Earth from above. The American West has long been a place where people have felt the freedom to explore unique points of views—whether in fashion, music, lifestyle, or artistic expression—and to display works by people who literally rose to the top of the world for a different perspective embodies that imaginative spirit of the American West,” said Autry President and CEO Daniel Finley.

The Autry National Center is an intercultural history center formed in 2003 by merger of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage with the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, and the Women of the West Museum. It is located in Griffith Park, at 4700 Western Heritage Way, across from the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz | Aviation Writer

Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.