Published on : Friday, December 13, 2013
San Francisco was at once improbable and inevitable. Much of the land at the northern tip of this hilly peninsula consisted of windswept sand dunes and was frequently blanketed with a cold fog during its summer season. But its location at the entrance to the largest natural harbor on the Pacific Coast, a series of auspicious events, and consecutive generations of citizens boldly reinventing their home on their own terms all combined to produce a city considered by many of its residents and visitors to be one of the world’s finest only fifty years after its founding. By all accounts, the transition of this sleepy village clinging to the shoreline of a sheltered cove to a boisterous, thriving metropolis was sudden. Charts, maps, and illustrated views document the remarkable pace of San Francisco’s early development in the latter half of the nineteenth century and its perpetual state of transformation throughout the twentieth century.
All objects and images on exhibition are from the David Rumsey Map Collection unless otherwise noted. Special thanks to Stanford University Libraries’ Digital and Rare Maps Librarian G. Salim Mohammed and City Archivist Susan Goldstein of the San Francisco Public Library for their generous assistance with this exhibition.
View an online version of the exhibition.
San Francisco: From the David Rumsey Collection is located beyond security screening in Terminal 2, Departures Level, San Francisco International Airport. The exhibition is on view to Terminal 2 ticketed passengers from December 14, 2013 to August 3, 2014. There is no charge to view the exhibition.
SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the country’s only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation.
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