CAF’s Nose Art Collection Arrives at EAA
By Steve Buss
As the planning for the National Airbase began last year, one question that was raised was “What should we do with the Nose Art?” It would be a shame to relegate the CAF’s world famous collection of authentic Nose Art to a storage facility. Rather, we started looking for places that might want to display the collection while the Airbase is built. During the next few months, discussions were held with several museums that might have an interest in hosting the exhibit. The EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., was selected as the first stop on “The Girls’” tour.
As with any tour, “The Girls’” journey began with extensive planning and packing. A special shipping container was custom built for each panel by Craters and Freighters, located in Dallas. Craters and Freighters specialize in packing a wide variety of items, including fine art and museum display materials. Craters and Freighters’ team built the exterior boxes and internal frames for each panel. Each box is sized for each piece of art. The panels were carefully removed from their display and gently attached to the internal frames, before being slid into their container.
A total of six semi-trailers were needed for the trip, including three climate-controlled trailers to protect the 34 individual Nose Art panels from changes in temperature or humidity. The remaining three trucks were loaded with display stands and each of the panel’s custom mounting heads.
The Nose Art safely arrived in Oshkosh on Sept. 30. The crew at EAA, under the watchful eye of CAF Museum Director Steve Buss, unloaded each crate into their new home in the EAA AirVenture Museum’s Eagle Hangar.
This week, Museum Curator Keegan Chetwynd, traveled to Oshkosh to supervise the Nose Art’s final installation. EAA is planning an exhibit “grand opening “later this year and we are working with EAA officials to organize a joint CAF/EAA event during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 to celebrate the exhibit’s first trip outside of Texas. More details will be available soon.
The temporary loan will extend through AirVenture 2016. We are continuing to talk with other museums around the country that may have an interest in displaying these unique pieces of American folk art. If you happened to be in the Upper Midwest later this year, take time to visit the EAA AirVenture Museum and see “The Girls” on tour. I’m sure they’d enjoy seeing a familiar face!