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.
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.
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.