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 1293)

  • International Aviation Tournament Belmont Park
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Manufacturer: American Lithographic Co.
    Date: 1910
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Gloria dell'Aviazione Italiana
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Manufacturer: Studio Tecnico Editoriale Italiano
    Credit Line: Donated by Mrs. Mary E. "Mother" Tusch
    Date: 1943
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • This is a man's job! Join the R.A.A.F.
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Australia
    Sponsor: Royal Australian Air Force
    Artist: Walter Jardine, 1884-1970
    Credit Line: Donated by Mrs. Mary E. "Mother" Tusch
    Date: 1941
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Join the R.A.A.F Back Them Up!
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Australia
    Manufacturer: Chromoworks Ltd.
    Artist: James Gardner, 1908-1995
    Sponsor: Royal Australian Air Force
    Credit Line: Donated by Mrs. Mary E. "Mother" Tusch
    Date: 1943
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Join the R.A.A.F. - Back them Up!
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Australia
    Artist: Charles E. Turner, 1893-1965
    Manufacturer: Chromoworks Ltd.
    Sponsor: Royal Australian Air Force
    Credit Line: Donated by Mrs. Mary E. "Mother" Tusch
    Date: circa 1940
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Join the R.A.A.F Back them Up!
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Australia
    Manufacturer: Chromoworks Ltd.
    Artist: Jobson
    Sponsor: Royal Australian Air Force
    Credit Line: Donated by Mrs. Mary E. "Mother" Tusch
    Date: circa 1943
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Back them Up!
    Country of Origin: Australia
    United Kingdom
    Manufacturer: Chromoworks Ltd.
    Sponsor: Royal Australian Air Force
    Artist: W. Krogman
    Credit Line: Donated by Mrs. Mary E. "Mother" Tusch
    Date: 1941
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • On To Victory
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Australia
    Sponsor: Royal Australian Air Force
    Credit Line: Donated by Mrs. Mary E. "Mother" Tusch
    Date: 1943
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Tivoli PA Ext Aordinaire Grade Fete A laquelle assisteront Les Osages
    Country of Origin: France
    Pilot: Jules-Francois Dupuis-Delcourt, 1802-1864
    Other: The Osages
    Credit Line: Gift of Harry F. Guggenheim
    Date: 1827
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Some Big Things Count Too!
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Kelly Freas
    Date: 1971
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Douglas A-20 Boston
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: William John Heaslip
    Credit Line: Gift of Robert M. Gaynor Copyright 1943 The Coca-Cola Company
    Date: 1943
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Curtiss P-40-F "Warhawk" U.S. Army - Pursuit
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: William John Heaslip
    Credit Line: Gift of Robert M. Gaynor
    Date: 1943
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality

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