Imperial Airways

Imperial Airways

     

Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection

Throughout their history, posters have been a significant means of mass communication, often with striking visual effect. Wendy Wick Reaves, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Curator of Prints and Drawings, comments that "sometimes a pictorial poster is a decorative masterpiece-something I can't walk by without a jolt of aesthetic pleasure. Another might strike me as extremely clever advertising … But collectively, these 'pictures of persuasion,' as we might call them, offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand. The poster is a familiar part of our world, and we intuitively understand its role as propaganda, promotion, announcement, or advertisement."

Reaves' observations are especially relevant for the impressive array of aviation posters in the National Air and Space Museum's 1300+ artifact collection. Quite possibly the largest publicly-held collection of its kind in the United States, the National Air and Space Museum's posters focus primarily on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. Among other areas, the collection includes 19th-century ballooning exhibition posters, early 20th-century airplane exhibition and meet posters, and twentieth-century airline advertisements.

The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.

Physical Description:
Routes represented on map of world and two globes; one airplane and one seaplane (Armstrong Whitworth Ensign and Short Empire Flying Boat) fly from top right hand corner; route maps show routes operated by Imperial Airways and companies in association, routes projected or under investigation for operation by or in conjunction with some routes operated by other air transport companies; "Ensign" and "Empire" flying boats with stats shown; multicolor image on paper.

Country of Origin
United Kingdom

Sponsor
Imperial Airways
Manufacturer
James Gardner, 1908-1995

Date
1937

Type
ART-Posters, Original Art Quality

Medium
Poster, Advertising, Commercial Aviation
Dimensions
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 63.5 x 101.6cm (25 x 40 in.)

Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection

Throughout their history, posters have been a significant means of mass communication, often with striking visual effect. Wendy Wick Reaves, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Curator of Prints and Drawings, comments that "sometimes a pictorial poster is a decorative masterpiece-something I can't walk by without a jolt of aesthetic pleasure. Another might strike me as extremely clever advertising … But collectively, these 'pictures of persuasion,' as we might call them, offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand. The poster is a familiar part of our world, and we intuitively understand its role as propaganda, promotion, announcement, or advertisement."

Reaves' observations are especially relevant for the impressive array of aviation posters in the National Air and Space Museum's 1300+ artifact collection. Quite possibly the largest publicly-held collection of its kind in the United States, the National Air and Space Museum's posters focus primarily on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. Among other areas, the collection includes 19th-century ballooning exhibition posters, early 20th-century airplane exhibition and meet posters, and twentieth-century airline advertisements.

The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.

Physical Description:
Routes represented on map of world and two globes; one airplane and one seaplane (Armstrong Whitworth Ensign and Short Empire Flying Boat) fly from top right hand corner; route maps show routes operated by Imperial Airways and companies in association, routes projected or under investigation for operation by or in conjunction with some routes operated by other air transport companies; "Ensign" and "Empire" flying boats with stats shown; multicolor image on paper.

Country of Origin
United Kingdom

Sponsor
Imperial Airways
Manufacturer
James Gardner, 1908-1995

Date
1937

Type
ART-Posters, Original Art Quality

Medium
Poster, Advertising, Commercial Aviation
Dimensions
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 63.5 x 101.6cm (25 x 40 in.)

ID: A19900604000