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 73)

  • Panagra Chile
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    United States
    Sponsor: Pan American-Grace Airways Inc. (Panagra), 1929-1967
    Credit Line: National Air and Space Museum
    Date: circa 1965
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Panagra Peru
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Sponsor: Pan American-Grace Airways Inc. (Panagra), 1929-1967
    Credit Line: National Air and Space Museum
    Date: circa 1965
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Panagra Argentina
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Sponsor: Pan American-Grace Airways Inc. (Panagra), 1929-1967
    Credit Line: National Air and Space Museum
    Date: circa 1965
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Paris. Jet Clipper Service Daily via Pan Am
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: Aaron Fine
    Sponsor: Pan American Airways
    Date: circa 1963
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • 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
  • Sabena Belgian World Airlines Holiday Abroad Extra City Plans
    Country of Origin: Belgium
    Sponsor: Sabena (Belgian World Airlines), 1923-2001
    Credit Line: National Air and Space Museum
    Date: 1961-1962
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • London Fly TWA Jets
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: David Klein
    Sponsor: Trans World Airlines (TWA)
    Date: circa 1960
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Rome Fly TWA Jets
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Artist: David Klein
    Sponsor: Trans World Airlines (TWA)
    Credit Line: No known restrictions.
    Date: circa 1960
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Apollo and the New Freedom
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Date: ca 1969
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Boeing in Space: The Apollo Legacy
    Manufacturer: Boeing Aerospace Company
    Date: ca 1969
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Cleveland National Air Races and Air Shows
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Sponsor: Greater Cleveland Growth Association, 1968
    Date: August 31-September 1, 1969
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality

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