Art Exhibit Brings Wright Brothers Back To Life At Historic Huffman Prairie

Jul 18, 2017

Aviation photographer, Dan Patterson, stands before the first f several art installations that will feature the Wright brothers.
Credit Jerry Kenney

The Wright brothers and their famous 1904 Flyer II airplane have returned to Huffman Prairie Flying Field in life-sized likenesses created by aviation photographer Dan Patterson.


Patterson is the current artist-in-residence at the Dayton National Aviation Historical Park. He says his concept for the Wright brothers project was to create art that lets viewers experience historic images in the places where they originally happened, art that puts viewers of the art "in the moment."


Patterson says he became an aviation enthusiast at an early age.


Since [I was] “four years old, when my parents told me that I was growing up in the home of the Wright brothers, and dad would take me down to the Van Cleve Hotel and say ‘well, Orville Wright used to eat lunch over there.’ But there’s something in the water here about aviation,” he says.


The first photo installation is printed on a giant mesh canvas that allows the wind to pass through. It stands just a few feet from where the actual photograph was taken in 1904. It’s unknown who took the original photo, Patterson says.

The photographer of this 1904 picture of the Wright brothers at Huffman Prairie is unknown.


Soon, other life-sized photos will be installed at 7 Hawthorn Street and 1127 West Third Street in downtown Dayton, where the Wright brothers once lived and worked.


Dan Patterson provides aviation commentary for WYSO.