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 51)

  • Italy, Fly... KLM
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Date: circa 1960
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Holland, Fly...KLM
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Date: circa 1960
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Descente d'Absalon
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Publisher: Faddegon & Co.
    Other: Miss Stena
    Credit Line: Donor: Found in collection. Donor unknown at this time. Found on NASM premises
    Date: 1885
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • K.L.M. Royal Dutch Airline Amsterdam-Batavia (Java ) v.v Weekly Service
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Artist: Emmanuel Gaillard
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Manufacturer: L. Van Leer & Co.
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • K.L.M. Royal Amsterdam Airlines Amsterdam Batavia (Java) v.v. Weekly Service
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Artist: Emmanuel Gaillard
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Manufacturer: L. Van Leer & Co.
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Royal Dutch Airlines The Flying Dutchman
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Artist: Jan Wijga
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Date: 1927-1928
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij De Vliegende Hollander
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Artist: Jan Wijga
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Date: 1927-1928
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Royal-Dutch-Airlines K.L.M.
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Artist: Munetsugu Satomi
    Date: ca 1938
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • World's Longest Air Line
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Artist: Jan Wijga
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Date: 1934
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • K.L.M. Koniglich Hollandische Luftfahrtgesellschaft
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Artist: Jan Wijga
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Date: 1934
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • KLM
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Manufacturer: Kuhn en Zoon
    Date: 1948-1953
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • KLM
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Manufacturer: Kuhn en Zoon
    Date: 1948-1953
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality