Aloft: The Wonder of Kites

November 5, 2011 – May 27, 2012

aloft doves

An exploration of creativity, possibility and big ideas.
Kites have entertained children and adults for thousands of years, but have also had a profound impact on history, from Benjamin Franklin’s exploration of wind and weather to the Wright Brothers’ first successful powered flight.  They are objects of artistic expression as well as cultural and religious symbols, tools of war, artifacts of history and instruments of science, technology and mathematics.

Celebrate the history, the significance, and the fun of Aloft! The Wonder of Kites, presenting materials from the Drachen Foundation collection. Soar through three fascinating exhibits:

Kites to Kitty Hawk: The Origin of Flight

No device was more important to the invention of the airplane than the kite, enabling a century of inventors to explore wing design, structural forms, and aeronautical control systems without risking their lives in gliding flight. This compelling collection of historical kites explores their impact on aviation history, from DaVinci to the Wright Brothers.

The Rise of the Roloplan: The Kite Designs of Richard Steiff. 

Get a unique glimpse into the passion of German kite builder Richard Steiff and a collection of his Roloplan kites, which became very popular in cities in the early 1900s because they could rise quickly from confined areas.

A Second Wind: Contemporary Kites

This stunning collection of contemporary kites reflects the Renaissance of kite flying and making over the past three decades by artists who transform their vision into flying sculpture through the use of innovative shapes, bold colors, intricate geometric designs, and modern materials.