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.

Your Search Results (1 to 12 of 60)

  • TWA Trans World Airlines Washington
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Locano
    Sponsor: Trans World Airlines (TWA)
    Date: 1951
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • TWA Trans World Airlines London
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Sponsor: Trans World Airlines (TWA)
    Date: 1951
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Fly TWA to San Francisco
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Sponsor: Trans World Airlines (TWA)
    Date: circa 1957
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • United Air Lines Southern California
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Joseph Feher, 1908-1987
    Sponsor: United Air Lines
    Date: circa 1950
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • United Air Lines Southern California
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Joseph Feher, 1908-1987
    Sponsor: United Air Lines
    Date: circa 1950
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • United Air Lines Hawaii
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Joseph Feher, 1908-1987
    Sponsor: United Air Lines
    Date: circa 1950
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • United Air Lines Hawaii
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Joseph Feher, 1908-1987
    Sponsor: United Air Lines
    Date: circa 1950
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • United Air Lines Hawaii
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Joseph Feher, 1908-1987
    Sponsor: United Air Lines
    Date: circa 1950
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • NAC At your service
    Country of Origin: New Zealand
    Sponsor: New Zealand National Airways Corporation
    Date: circa 1952
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Fly TWA To and Across America Serves 59 Cities
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Soltesz
    Sponsor: Trans World Airlines (TWA)
    Date: circa 1950
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • San Francisco via TWA
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Sponsor: Trans World Airlines (TWA)
    Date: circa 1952
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Fly TWA Italy
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Lacano
    Sponsor: Trans World Airlines (TWA)
    Date: 1951
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality

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