Royal Air Force Museum Appeals to Airfix Fans

The Royal Air Force Museum London will be launching in Summer 2013 a signature exhibition commemorating and celebrating the national institution that is Airfix. This exhibition will chart the history of this Great British Institution by displaying original Box Art as well as Airfix’s most popular models from the 50s, 60s and 70s in the Museum’s Art Gallery.

An important part of the exhibition will be the examination of how Airfix has permeated the social fabric of the United Kingdom and how it has influenced the leisure activities of generations of young men and women since the company’s foundation. Accordingly, the Royal Air Force Museum is today launching an appeal to ask members of the public who have any original paintings which were produced as artwork for packaging to contact the Museum. The Museum would also be interested in hearing about models from 1950s, 60s and 70s with their original packaging.

Andrew Cormack Keeper of Visual Arts, Medals and Uniforms at the Royal Air Force Museum and Curator of the Airfix Exhibition states:

‘Over the last 9 months I have had the pleasure of working closely with the team at Airfix, whilst curating this exhibition. Although the Museum does have a plethora of materials to draw upon, it was common practice when staff retired from Airfix for them to be awarded original artwork as a thank you from the team.

This means that in terms of the proposed exhibition there are a couple of minor gaps in the artwork we would like to hang. These include artwork from the Historical Personalities series, the Sailing Ships series and Airfix’s military vehicles series during the 1950s and 60s including the work of Roy Cross and Michael Turner. And although we will doubtless show some superb models, it would be interesting, if possible, to find any models that still survive that were made by young children also from this period. After all, the pleasure of making a kit experienced by an eight year old – the majority of purchasers in the 1960s – was more about imagination and inspiration, perhaps even emulation, than it was accuracy.

If any members of the public have in their possession any original Airfix paintings or models from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and would like to offer to lend their items to be displayed in this exhibition please contact me by calling 020 8205 2266 or by emailing me at fine-arts@rafmuseum.org

This Airfix exhibition is scheduled to commence June 2013 after the exhibition that is currently on show in the Museum’s Art Gallery ‘Fresh Air: a new perspective in aviation art’ finishes. This exhibition is a retrospective on the work of Artist in Residence to the Red Arrows, David Bent.

Entry to Fresh Air is free of charge to visitors; as is entry to the Museum. The exhibition will be shown daily from 10am to 6pm. For further details please visit www.rafmuseum.org/whatson or dial 020 8205 2266.

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