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 43)

  • 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
  • Alpenflug-Jubilaum in Brig
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Artist: Aldo Mazza, 1880-1964
    Pilot: Georges Chavez, 1887-1910
    Date: September 23-25, 1960
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Flip-Flap
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Date: circa 1911
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France Linee Aeree
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Artist: E. Girard
    Manufacturer: Mappe Monde, French,
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: circa 1933
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Societa Aerea Mediterranea Phoebo Nos Exaequat Ala
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Sponsor: Aero Lloyd
    Artist: Mario de Bernardi
    Sponsor: Societa Aerea Mediterranea, 1926 - 1934
    Date: circa 1930
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Avio Linee Italiane, S.A.
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Sponsor: Avio Linee Italiane--Flotte Reunite, Italy, 1926 - 1952
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • 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
    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
  • Societa Aerea Mediterranea (S.A.M)
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Artist: Latini
    Sponsor: Societa Aerea Mediterranea, 1926 - 1934
    Date: circa 1934
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Societa Aerea Mediterranea (S.A.M) Linea Aerea Turistica
    Country of Origin: Italy
    Sponsor: Societa Aerea Mediterranea, 1926 - 1934
    Date: 1933
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality