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 9 of 9)

  • Air Taxis to Any Destination
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Pools Advertising Services Ltd.
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Date: Summer 1933
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • P.S. & I.O.W.A. Daily Air Services
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Pools Advertising Services Ltd.
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Spartan Air Lines
    Date: circa 1934
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • P.S. & I.O. W. A. Daily Air Services
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Pools Advertising Services Ltd.
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Date: circa 1933
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • P.S. & I.O.W.A. Air Ferry
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Pools Advertising Services Ltd.
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Date: Summer 1934
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • P.S. & I.O.W.A. Book Here
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Pools Advertising Services Ltd.
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Spartan Air Lines
    Date: May 1- August 31, 1934
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • P.S. & I.O.W.A. The Island Air Express
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Pools Advertising Services Ltd.
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Date: 1934
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Spithead & Shoreham Air Ferries
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Manufacturer: W. H. Barrell Ltd.
    Date: 1933
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Portsmouth, Southsea & Isle of Wight Aviation By Air to London or Elsewhere
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Pools Advertising Services Ltd.
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Date: circa 1935
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Portsmouth, Southsea & Isle of Wight Aviation Air Ferry to Portsmouth
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Pools Advertising Services Ltd.
    Sponsor: Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation (P.S.& I.O.W.A.)
    Date: 1932
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality