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 7 of 7)

  • Societa Anonima Italiana di Navigazione Aerea Transadriatica
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Manufacturer: Societa Anonima Stab. Arti. Grafiche
    Sponsor: Transadriatica (S.A.I. di Navigazione Aerea)
    Date: circa 1928
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Transadriatica S.A. I. Navigazione Aerea
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Sponsor: Transadriatica (S.A.I. di Navigazione Aerea)
    Artist: Zandrino
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Transadriatica Linee Aeree
    Artist: Mario Puppo, 1905-1977
    Sponsor: Transadriatica (S.A.I. di Navigazione Aerea)
    Date: circa 1935-1940
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Transadriatica
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Artist: Carlo dalla Zorza
    Manufacturer: Stab. G. Scarabellin
    Sponsor: Transadriatica (S.A.I. di Navigazione Aerea)
    Date: circa 1925
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Transadriatica Fly Through Italy in 5 Hours
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Manufacturer: Stab Graf Ommassini & Pascon-Venezia (Guidecca)
    Sponsor: Transadriatica (S.A.I. di Navigazione Aerea)
    Date: circa 1925
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Transadriatica Linee Aeree
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Artist: Mario Puppo, 1905-1977
    Sponsor: Transadriatica (S.A.I. di Navigazione Aerea)
    Credit Line: Found in Collection. Donor unknown. No known restrictions.
    Date: 1928
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Transadriatica Societa Anonima Italiana di Navigazione Aerea
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Manufacturer: Societa Anonima Stab. Arti. Grafiche
    Sponsor: Transadriatica (S.A.I. di Navigazione Aerea)
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality