September 7, 2008
The World Kite Museum

There is a treasure along the North West Coast.

The World Kite Museum in Long Beach Washington is something any serious kiter should be proud to support. It is a resource and repository of our history that benefits not just the local community, but kiting around the country and the planet.

Museum Building

I’ve visited a number of kiting museums, from the mammoth faculty in Weifang China, to the fascinating local buildings in Japan, to the smaller collections in various cities. They are all wonderful! But most have a regional focus The World Museum in Long Beach clearly strives to reach out beyond a local or national orientation.

Museum Entrance Museum Entrance Museum Entrance

This year, the museum boasts an exquisite display of appliquéd kites by Oliver Ramon of Switzerland. Olivier was the featured guest at the International Festival. Ten of his kites were showcased in the museum where aficionados could get up close and really appreciate the detail and artistry.

Applique work from other well known artists added to a breathtaking presentation.

Modern Kites Modern Kites Modern Kites Modern Kites

In another section of the large, airy building, huge Japanese kites are on display. The Museum is the repository of an enormous and extensive collection from David Checkley of Seattle. Checkley was a pioneer in visiting the many Asian kite festivals and instrumental in helping start the Japan Kite Association and Weifang Kite Festival. His kites are rotated regularly from storage to display.

Japanese Kites Japanese Kites Japanese Kites

Fliers will also appreciate the Museum displays of antique and historic kites. A large exhibit of military kites fills one room where barrage kites, signal kites, rescue kites, and target kites can be closely examined.

Historic Kites Historic Kites Historic Kites

And finally, there is a significant display of Chinese, Korean, and Indonesian kites together with the explanatory materials that provide background and context for these unique flying creations. The question remains whether the Chinese or Indonesians were the first kiters….

Asian Kites Asian Kites Asian Kites Asian Kites

Each year, the Museum inducts historical characters in to the Kiting Hall of Fame.

Forty names, photos and narratives line the wall honoring contributors to the art, science, and sport of kiting.

Click on the photo for a few surprises from our rich history!!

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Kay Buesing and her late husband Jim are the driving force behind this amazing facility. Over a twenty year period, they galvinized community support, fundraising, and collections to build a facility worthy o the name.

From dream to concept to proposal to reality, I’ve been pleased to watch support the World Kite Museum.

Log onto for more information.

Meanwhile, I landed in Paris last night and am up early, sleepy but unable to sleep. From all corners of the kite world, flying friends are gathering in Dieppe for one of the great kite events on the bi-annual calendar. More than thirty countries will be represented at the ten day, two weekend festival. Check back next week for news and photos!!

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