Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Installing the Now Boarding 2-D & 3-D Timeline (Video)

After months (sometimes years) of planning, deliberating, and visualizing, the fun part of installing an exhibition is when all the pieces start to come together physically in the gallery space. In the Now Boarding exhibition, that included two-dimensional (2-D) objects such as photos and sketches of the airports, three-dimensional (3-D) objects like architectural models and various airline travel-related artifacts, multiple videos, and a spectrum of graphics.

One of the graphic highlights in the exhibition is a historic timeline of flight. It shows developments in technology, airplanes, airports, and the culture surrounding air travel. Installation of the Now Boarding timeline was somewhat unusual because display techniques often used alone were combined and overlapped. First, the basic yellow background of the timeline, including some of the text, was printed on vinyl and applied to the walls. Next, 58 panels with text and images were installed in horizontal bands on top of the vinyl. Then, installed on some of these panels were 2-D objects such as vintage postcards and advertisements, a video monitor displaying a film by Charles and Ray Eames about airport design, and finally 3-D historic objects mounted in protective cases. See an 11-second timelapse of part of the timeline installation activity below.

Jason A. Knowles © Fentress Architects.

Concurrent with the preparation of the timeline, equally exciting installations were taking place elsewhere in the exhibition, beginning with an opening video, Getaway by Marco Bambrilla, mannequins with flight attendant uniforms, huge architectural models, a Ben Rubin multi-media artwork, Gate Change, and ending with an illuminating display of future airport design.

Writer's note: Many thanks to Josh Angel on the DAM staff for timelapse photography.

Libbie Gottschalk was the exhibition design coordinator in the exhibitions department at the Denver Art Museum. Libbie was at the DAM 1998–2013.