Earth Flight Environment Mural (Eric Sloane)

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    Earth Flight Environment Mural (Eric Sloane)

    Earth flight environment, 1976; L-shaped mural; depicts panoramic view of western landscape with a lone airplane on the right, lightning, rain, rainbow and cloud formations rise toward a rocket airplane; at top of the vertical section is the aurora borealis and the stars of space; the border at the bottom is decorated with a variety of weather map symbols.

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    Earth Flight Environment

    A mural by Eric Sloane located in the Museum's entrance gallery. 

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    Artist Eric Sloane Working on the Earth Flight Environment Mural

    Artist Eric Sloane applies masking tape along the top of the band at the lower edge of Earth Flight Environment.  Eric Sloane (1905-1985) was one of America’s most accomplished natural artists. A student of the Hudson Valley School of natural landscapes, he created more than 15,000 paintings and wrote 38 books. A native of New York City, Sloane was attracted to the beautiful simplicity of early American rural architecture and tools. From his studios in Connecticut and New Mexico, he explored his fascination with wood and the many ways early Americans used it.

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    Eric Sloane Paint Cans

    View of Eric Sloane's work bench, showing paints, palettes, and other painting supplies, during installation of the Earth Flight Environment mural.   The mural required 400 quarts of durable acrylic paint on a wall covered in Belgian linen.

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    Eric Sloane Painting Clouds

    Artist Eric Sloane stands on scaffolding, at work painting clouds near the second-floor balcony rail during installation of the vertical portion of Earth Flight Environment.  Sloane became enamored with clouds and weather at an early age. While painting numbers on aircraft at Floyd Bennett Field on Long Island in the early1930s, he met famed aviator Wiley Post, who flew him high above New York. Sloane was struck by the beauty and power of the atmosphere. 

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    Hidden Eric Sloane Mural in Golden Age of Flight

    Artist Eric Sloane painted a mural in the Golden Age of Flight exhibition that is now hidden behind the main wall.

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    Earth Flight Environment Mural - From Air to Space

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    X-15 on Earth Flight Environment Mural

    X-15 on Earth Flight Environment mural.

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    Earth Flight Environment Mural (Eric Sloane)

    Full view of Eric Sloane's Earth Flight Environment mural in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.

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    Earth Flight Environment Mural (Eric Sloane)

    Portion of Eric Sloane's Earth Flight Environment mural in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.

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    Eric Sloane Signature

    Eric Sloane signature on the Earth Flight Environment mural in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.

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Eric Sloane, "Earth Flight Environment", 1976, acrylic on canvas, 75’x 58’ 6”

Sloane’s mural is on the west wall of the Independence Ave. Lobby. The L shaped mural stretches 75 feet across the horizontal segment and 58 feel, 6 inches upwards. It was commissioned for the 1976 opening of the Museum.

The mural shows a panoramic view of a wester landscape as a lone commercial airplane streaks across the sky. The left side of the painting changes from realism to symbolic. The lightening, rain, a rainbow, and an assortment of cloud formations rise towards a rocket airplane. Finally, at the top of the vertical segment, there is a depiction of the aurora borealis, and the stars of space. The border at the bottom of the mural is decorated with a variety of weather map symbols.

While painting murals in the Half Moon Hotel near Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY in the late 1920’s, Eric Sloane met many of the early transatlantic pilots and lettered their planes. Influenced by his flight with Wiley Post, Mr. Sloane began painting cloud formations. His first “cloudscape” customer was Amelia Earhart. His interest in clouds and weather led him to write his book “Cloud, Air Wind,” which was accepted by the Air Force as a weather manual. He also built the first “Hall of Atmosphere” for the Museum of Natural History in New York. Mr. Sloane was the first T.V. weather man, and has written a number of books on weather, including the first sky book for art students, Skies of the Artist.”

The mural is painted in acrylic paints on Belgian Linen.