By Emily King
Skipping through an interesting city on a connecting flight? Don’t head for your next gate quite yet--major airports across the globe are incorporating mini art museums throughout their terminals, giving visitors a chance to experience some of the region’s culture without leaving the airport.
While many airports are squeezing art displays into existing spaces, newly constructed terminals are being build with massive budgets for gallery space. This past May, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport opened a new international terminal with over five million dollars worth of sculptures and artwork.
Terminals in the US often feature the work of local artists and capture the unique style of each city, while others boast their own on-site museums with regularly rotating exhibits. Western airports like Denver International Airport houses enormous works of public art that reference Native American tradition and cowboy culture; San Francisco International offers travelers with changing displays from all over the world (recent exhibitions include Scandinavian pottery and Vietnamese photography).
Airports are partnering with local museums to bring some of the world’s most precious works of art into transportation spaces. The Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam showcases pieces from the Rijksmuseum collection, allowing tens of thousands of travelers the opportunity to view works of masters like Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
Bangkok, Tokyo, Helsinki, London, and most other international hubs now have large dedicated gallery spaces throughout their airports, providing a meditative space for visitors to connect with local culture, arts, and ideals.