British Airways La Route d'Aujourd'hui
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.
Found in collection. Donor unknown at this time. Found on NASM premises.
BRITISH AIRWAYS LA ROUTE D'AUJOURD'HUI. Blue, black, red, white and gray illustrated print advertising air travel from Paris to London. Large geometric bird flies in the slipstream of small white silhouetted airplane on a blue background. Artist name at lower right of illustration, "LEE-ELLIOTT." Partial text: at top within a strip of white, "LA ROUTE D'AUJOURD'HUI in red sans-serif font. At bottom within a strip of white, "BRITISH AIRWAYS" in red and blue serif font. Below in black serif font, "PARIS – LONDRES," and in small gray font, "2 RUE EDOUARD VII · 29 AVENUE GEORGE V · OPERA 95 72. Additional text in small black font at bottom edge.
- Country of Origin
- United Kingdom
- ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
- Poster, Advertising, Commercial Aviation
- 2-D - Unframed (H x W): 101.6 x 63.5cm (40 x 25 in.)