Collection Item Summary:
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.