State Porcelain Factory, Leningrad, USSR, founded 1918
porcelain, enamel, gilding
Leningrad, Soviet Union
The Henry and Ludmilla Shapiro Collection; Partial gift and partial purchase through the Decorative Arts Association Acquisition and Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program Funds
Research in Progress
Circular, with notched gilded border and in the center a scene showing a stylized airplane flown by a young man and woman, a red flying carpet, a couple dressed in medieval costume, a chained ogre, caged birds
Poster featuring psychedelic yellow and purple design on brown ground. Images of Jefferson Airplane band members framed in circles and a square with engulfing spheres with text: BILL GRAHAM PRESENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO / JEFFERSON AIRPLANE [additional information, date, location].
Mostly red poster depicting melted abstract shapes, biomorpic lettering: BILL GRAHAM PRESENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO / OCT 24 25 26; THURS / FRI SAT; JEFFERSON / AIRPLANE; RECORDING LIVE / BALLET AFRO-HAITI / AB. SKHY / TICKETS [ticket information in lower margin]. At center, an airplane with a woman upper body, centaur-motorcycles.
Even the name seemed psychedelic. Jefferson Airplane was one of the first rock bands to fully capture the counterculture of the mid-1960s, quickly gaining national and then international fame. This 1966 poster featured a photograph of the band with its new lead vocalist, Grace Slick (born 1939). Jefferson Airplane’s irreverent lyrics—with references to sex, drugs, and radical politics—pulsating sound, and Slick’s soaring contralto and dramatic stage presence, launched the band into the national consciousness. The psychedelic posters commissioned by rock impresario Bill Graham for San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium suggest the dizzying, multisensory experience of many Fillmore events, which were often charged with high-decibel music, light shows, and mind-altering drugs. Although the wild lettering and colors that designer Wes Wilson used rendered the advertisement almost illegible, this innovative style successfully evoked the burgeoning hippie counterculture.
Postal service;Letter mail handling;Stamp collecting
The Wiseman-Cooke Airplane
A brief introduction to Fred Wiseman's 1911 airmail flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, California. Read more at: http://npm.si.edu/exhibits/current/airmail-in-america/the-airplanes/the-wiseman-cooke.html The Wiseman-Cooke Airplane is on display at the National Postal Museum, on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.
The Leslie Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, purchase from Patricia Brincefield
Artist Leslie Payne's sketches of "imitation" airplanes may have been used as preliminary drawings in conceiving his sculptural works.
Born in rural Virginia, at the age of eleven Payne saw his first air show. These new aerial exhibitions were taking place all across America and inspiring children like Payne to one day take flight. Growing up on a farm he spent the majority of his life working as a handy man and crabber on the Chesapeake. Though he never lost his passion to fly, it was not until the 1940s that he began to assemble his notable "imitation" airplanes from scrap metal, wood, and canvas.
With only a fourth grade education Payne transformed his small-scale models to life-sized ones that were actually mobile. Using salvaged engines to propel his creations, Payne took local children for a ride up and down his family's field. He wore a flight suit with aviation cap (also made from found objects) and kept flight logs of all his passengers and imaginary destinations. In addition to his passion for flying, Payne also enjoyed creating model boats, hand-painted commemorative signs, and whirligigs. He was known for exhibiting all his works of art in an elaborate yard show at his home.
On loan from National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
On long-term loan from the National Air and Space Museum, this airplane was the first to carry mail on behalf of a postmaster. Petaluma, California, postmaster John E. Omstead authorized Wiseman’s flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa and provided him with some mail addressed to officials in Santa Rosa, including the local postmaster, Hiram L. Tripp. Wiseman took-off on February 17, 1911, with a handful of mail. He flew about one hundred feet off the ground at a maximum speed of 70 mph. He carried three letters from the mayor and other town leaders, some groceries, and copies of the local newspaper, the "Press-Democrat."
Forced down by engine trouble, Wiseman resumed his flight the next morning, using a tarp as a runway. Over a farmhouse, he tossed a newspaper to a woman working in her yard. Near Santa Rosa, a wire caught in the propeller, and Wiseman was down again. Nevertheless, he emerged from his plane to a growing, cheering crowd, who picked-up the pilot and his mail and drove them into town.
Fred Wiseman built and operated the plane, based on early aircraft produced by the Wright brothers, Glenn H. Curtiss, and the Farman brothers. This biplane includes forward and rear elevators, ailerons on upper and lower wing, and weighs 670 pounds. Wiseman replaced the original 50 hp engine with a 60 hp Hall-Scott V-8 engine after his initial exhibition flights.
Postal service;Letter mail handling;Stamp collecting
The deHavilland DH-4 Airplane
A brief introduction to the workhorse of the early airmail service, the deHavilland DH-4B airplane. Read more at: http://npm.si.edu/exhibits/current/airmail-in-america/the-airplanes/dehavilland-dh-4.html The deHavilland DH-4 Airplane is on display at the National Postal Museum, on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.