I love it when history is presented in a contemporary way that is intriguing and informational. At the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, you can experience history in a contemporary  way with its current exhibit of ‘Wright Brothers Photographs by William Preston Mayfield'.

Some people may have already viewed the exhibit which began December 5 and runs through Feb. 21. I've not had the opportunity to see it but that will change now that the holidays are over as this is an exhibit that intrigues me in many ways.


First, I'm part of an aviation family. My husband and son are both pilots. Second, they're both members of the Air Force (husband/retired). Third, I love looking at historic photos. So, when I heard Fort Wayne MOA President and CEO Charles Shepard had purchased 60 historic reproductions of photographs of the Wright Brothers for the museum, I was impressed.

Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, is named because of this prestigious pair of brothers who are credited with inventing and building the world's first airplane.  

Here's a little background of what you can expect in the display that fills one of the galleries.
William Preston Mayfield was the personal photographer for Orville and Wilbur Wright. Mayfield, a Kentucky native (1896-1974), worked as a newspaper, newsreel, commercial and aerial photographer.

This exhibit includes reproductions of photographs taken by Mayfield from 1908 through the 1950s. The photos show factual evidence of the experiments, successes, and failures of the Wrights as they developed modern flight in Dayton. I wonder if Mayfield could imagine how famous the Wright brothers would be.

Keep in mind these are photos with more of a historical significance perhaps than an artistic bent. Still, I love the close-ups of the brothers and their often whimsical expressions.

There is another local tie with this exhibit. Bishop Milton Wright, the father of Orville and Wilbur Wright, was instrumental in the founding of Huntington University which is sponsoring the exhibit.

Fort Wayne Museum of Art
311 East Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Tuesday - Saturday: 10am-6pm
Thursday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: 12-5pm