The Kite Wall by Straight Line Designs Installed in Bookscape!

full wall

From left to right: Snowy Owl, Tiger Angel Fish (and babies!), Chinese Dragon, Wind-up Prop Plane, Pirate Ship, Paper Airplane, Fox, and Box Kite.

Just in time for the 18th anniversary of Cotsen Children Library’s inauguration (Halloween of 1997) we have a high-flying new installation in the gallery. The previously blank white wall at the front of the gallery (just above our offices) is a little more lively now. With the introduction of a sky scene to Bookscape, complete with 8 wood fabricated kites and airbrushed clouds, we hope that the gallery feels fuller and more fun.

Now that everything’s up (whew!) you might be wondering how it all got there. Lucky for you, we meticulously documented the whole procedure:

It all started when we turned this pile of parts…

entry e

Into this 40-foot-tall mobile scaffold.


I won’t say this wasn’t fun to climb.

And of course all the features in the front of the gallery had to be removed (except for the exhibition cases with “Flying Machines!”

kite carnage

Don’t worry, Kangaroo is only sleeping. . .

The kites had to be unboxed, touched-up, and assembled.


Believe it or not, some of the kites were “floated” in crates for their transcontinental trip. They came through without a scratch.

dragon head on table a

Getting the dragon ready for his close-up!

angel fish on riser

The Tiger Angel Fish were inspired by stunt kites.

And finally, mounted and installed on the wall.

prop plane install a

Easy does it…

dragon head

Is that really on tight?

paper airplane install a

Though it was a lot of work, it was also a lot of fun. We’d like to thank (once again!) Judson Beaumont and his company Straight Line Designs for making our flighty ideas a reality with whimsical designs and custom fabrications. And none of it could have come together without the hard work and talent of Danielle Swift and Straight Line Design’s Ron Baldesancho.

ship install

Last but not least, like an anxious conductor, Judd instructs Danielle, Ron, and me in the installation of the certainly heavier-than-air ship kite onto the wall.

We hope you enjoy the new addition to the Cotsen gallery! Drop in during our regular hours to see it for yourself!  Don’t forget to take a peek at the exhibition “Flying Machines” too…

More kites on the Cotsen virtual exhibitions page