Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Wild Flight of the Imagination: the Story of the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has organized a region-wide celebration for the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. The California Historical Society opens a ground breaking new exhibition: A Wild Flight of the Imagination: the Story of the Golden Gate Bridge, featuring art, photographs, films and historic bridge artifacts.

It was Joseph Strauss, Chief Engineer of the bridge, and Michael M. O’Shaughnessy, San Francisco’s iconic City Engineer who coined the soaring phrase which inspires our exhibition title and carried the seemingly impossible job to its completion.

The exhibition will include a look back at the Golden Gate itself – one hundred years before the building of the bridge – as well as the building and historic opening of the bridge in 1937. It will also examine the bridge’s influence as an inspirational landscape for artists, writers, tourists, and people worldwide.

Learn what life was like for travelers before the spanning of the Gate – when ferry travel could still accommodate traffic between San Francisco and Marin County. Follow the media campaign and efforts of San Francisco Mayor James Rolph to win over a reluctant public, and the victorious telegram informing Rolph of the bridge’s approval by the federal government.

See works of art and photography by Maynard Dixon, Chesley Bonestell, Carleton Watkins and Dorothea Lange, along with spectacular architectural drawings by John Eberson and Irving Morrow from the collections of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, the California State Library and others. Some of his art will be out of storage and on view for the first time in decades.

Please join us on Sunday, February 26th at 2:30 pm for the opening reception of this exciting exhibition, which will be co-sponsored by the Art Deco Society of California.

Wear your best 1930s apparel, kick up your heels and celebrate with us on the 79th anniversary – to the day – of the groundbreaking of this world-renowned structure. The afternoon will be golden, drink will flow, and jazz will fill the air.

We hope to see you there! RSVP to 415.357.1848, ext. 229 or

A Wild Flight of the Imagination is on view Tuesday – Sundays from February 26 through October 14, 2012, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. each day.
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