Jeffrey Milstein, 'America West Boeing 757-200,' 2007, pigment inkjet prints, 40 x 40 inches, courtesy of the artistAircraft: The Jet as Art by Jeffrey Milstein
August 23 - December 21, 2008

Wichita is the 'Air Capital of the World,' a force in aviation research, engineering, and fabrication extending to the earliest days of manned flight. The Ulrich Museum of Art presents an exhibition of 35 large-scale images of today's machines of air and sky by New York photographer Jeffrey Milstein.

Milstein captures his images at the end of the Los Angeles International Airport runway as planes pass overhead on descent. In the studio, he corrects and sharpens the photographs and mutes the background to achieve images that resemble a crisp, formal portrait. By focusing narrowly on the planes and printing them in large scale, Milstein renders them aesthetic objects. "I want to capture the beauty and power that I see in the elegant symmetry of these objects," Milstein said. "A beauty that developed out of function: an airplane must have minimal drag, must attain maximum thrust with the least amount of weight, and keep everything in control with decreasing and increasing speeds."

A grouping of the aircraft images--framed, scaled, positioned identically--suggests the scientific study of type one associates with butterfly collecting or a visit to a natural history museum. Milstein's fascination with jets follows a respected photographic tradition emphasizing typology and dissecting nuanced difference from numbing sameness. Such noted photographers as August Sanders, Hilla and Bernd Becher, Andreas Gursky, Lynn Cohen, and now Milstein comprise this tradition. In fact, Milstein's work was included in the 2008 exhibition New Typologies in New York, curated by noted British photographer and critic Martin Parr.

This exhibition is generously supported by Reuben Saunders and:

Spirit AeroSystems, corporate sponsor of 'Aircraft: The Jet as Art by Jeffrey Milstein'

Cessna Aircraft Company, corporate sponsor of 'Aircraft: The Jet as Art by Jeffrey Milstein'

Ulrich exhibitions also are supported by the Ulrich Salon Circle and Museum Alliance.


Photographer Jeffrey MilsteinArtist's Talk: Jeffrey Milsteim
12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Friday, September 12
210 McKnight Art Center West, School of Art and Design, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount Street, Wichita
Technology and human ingenuity in the 20th century created the elegant and efficient machines of the sky that photographer Milstein captures in their dazzling flight. Technology of the 21st century gave Milstein the artistic tools for his remarkable and beautiful images. The subject of a recent Abrams book, "Aircraft: The Jet as Art," international exhibitions, and selection for the 2008 New York Photo Fest exhibition "New Typologies," artist Jeff Milstein talks about his work on view this fall at the Ulrich, discussing his lifelong love of flight as well as the typologizing current in contemporary art in which his work takes part.

Members' Opening Party
7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, September 13
Join us to celebrate the suite of fall exhibitions. Meet and mingle with New York photographer Jeffrey Milstein. Engage in lively banter and enjoy music and refreshments. Free to Ulrich Museum members, $7 for non-members. Call (316) 978-3664 or e-mail to make a party reservation.

Gallery Tour: Aircraft: The Jet as Art By Jeffrey Milstein
2:30 p.m. Saturday, October 4

Wichita is the “Air Capital of the World” and has supplied the globe with the majority of aircraft for decades. The Ulrich presents contemporary, largescale photographs of these machines of the air and sky. Take a student-friendly tour of the gallery, and discover Jeffrey Milstein’s pristine images of industry greats including Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, and Hawker Beechcraft. This is a WSU Shocker Family, Friends, and Alumni Weekend event. For more of the weekend’s events, go to or call the WSU Student Activities Council at 316-978-3495.

National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State UniversityFaculty Talks: What’s Up in Flight R&D at WSU?
2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, October 11
210 McKnight Art Center West, School of Art and Design, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount Street, Wichita
Open House: Beech Wind Tunnel plus selected labs at WSU Engineering and the
National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR)
Both events are located on the WSU campus at 1845 Fairmount Street.
How do they go that fast, and why do they stay up there? Engineering innovation has been primary to Wichita’s historic prominence in aviation, and WSU plays a large role in retaining and extending its edge in the industry. What research occupies the bright minds of WSU engineering faculty connected to flight? Discover how this industry is evolving by hearing presentations for the general public by WSU engineering leaders. The combination of shor t talks captures what’s up in flight R & D at WSU. L. Scott Miller, professor and chair of Aerodynamics, moderates the presentations by distinguished faculty. Following the talks at the museum, selected WSU Engineering and National Institute for Aviation Research labs will host an open house for Ulrich guests.

Anny Birney as Amelia Earhart, photo courtesy of Ride Into HistorySenior Wednesday: Amelia Earhart, First Lady of the Air
10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 15
Beren Gallery, Ulrich Museum of Art

Born in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart was a leading figure of her time, a daring pilot whose aviation firsts made her a media idol and a symbol of what women could accomplish in a man’s world. On the eve of her attempt to fly around the globe, Earhart speaks candidly about her Kansas childhood, her love of flying, and her ambivalence toward fame. Ann Birney, an independent scholar of American studies and co-director of Ride into History, presents a first-person portrayal of Earhart as part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s History Alive program. This program is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council, which promotes understanding of the history and ideas that shape our lives and strengthen our sense of community.

Photographer Paul BowenUlrich Conversation: Paul Bowen
6 p.m. Thursday, October 16
210 McKnight Art Center West, School of Art and Design, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount Street, Wichita
Ever wonder how spectacular images of aircraft in flight— plane-to-plane shots of breathtaking beauty—are created? Often strapped into the tailgunner’s position of a World War II B-25 bomber with his Canon camera, Wichita commercial aviation photographer Paul Bowen works high in the sky. For several decades, Bowen has developed a body of work of mastery and extraordinary imagination, featured in his 1998 book Air to Air: The Photography of Paul Bowen. Join Wichita Eagle aviation repor ter Molly McMillin as she interviews Bowen, and he shares his spine-tingling, nail-biting, behind-the-scene stories of aerial photography.

Curator and Director Rod SlemmonsCurator Talk: Rod Slemmons, From Type to Archetype: Photography’s Uneasy Relationship with Fact
3:45 p.m. Friday, November 14
210 McKnight Art Center West, WSU School of Art & Design, 1845 Fairmount Street, Wichita
Rod Slemmons will trace lineage in photographic practice from modernist confidence to postmodernist mistrust, beginning with typologie of the 19th century to contemporary visual catalogues from the Düsseldorf School to endless portraiture. Jeffrey Milstein’s Aircraft series on view at the Ulrich fits squarely within this history, and Slemmons will reveal its artistic heritage and postmodern impulses. Slemmons is the director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago. Previously, he was curator of photography at the Seattle Art Museum for 14 years. He has curated and written extensively on photography with substantive one-person shows for such greats as Lee Friedlander, Danny Lyon, and Edward Curtis. Slemmons also chaired the Society for Photographic Education from 1990-1994 and received its Honored Educator award in 2007. This event is in conjunction with Zeitgeist in Babel: The Postmodernism Symposium.

Aviation Clay LacyUlrich Conversation: Clay Lacy
6 p.m. Thursday, November 20
210 McKnight Art Center West, School of Art and Design, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount Street, Wichita
During his career, Clay Lacy has been a show-biz pilot, experimental test pilot, aviation record-setter, teacher, and entrepreneur. He is also founder of the nation’s most respected jet charter company and creator of Astrovision, which has provided film footage for nearly 3,000 projects including Hollywood blockbusters such as Top Gun and Armageddon. Wichitan Clay Lacy has done it all and returns to the “Air Capital of the World” to share stories of his exploits.

Artworks shown on this website are copyrighted by the artists unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder.