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 9 of 9)

  • Scandinavian Air Express London and Paris to Scandinavia in 7 Hours
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: ABA (Aktiebolaget Aerotransport)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Scandinavian Air Express
    Date: circa 1930
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Aerotransport Swedish Air Lines London Och Paris
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: ABA (Aktiebolaget Aerotransport)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Date: 1935-1936
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Aerotransport Sveriges Flygforbindelser
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: ABA (Aktiebolaget Aerotransport)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Date: 1934
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • A.B. Aerotransport Sveriges Flygforbindelser
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: ABA (Aktiebolaget Aerotransport)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Date: ca 1932
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Gotland
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: ABA (Aktiebolaget Aerotransport)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Date: ca 1935
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • A.B. Aerotransport Flyg Over Stockholm
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: ABA (Aktiebolaget Aerotransport)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Date: circa 1928
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Flyg Med A.B. Aerotransport
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: ABA (Aktiebolaget Aerotransport)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Date: circa 1928
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Flyg Med A.B. Aerotransport
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: ABA (Aktiebolaget Aerotransport)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Credit Line: Found in Collection. Donor unknown. No known restrictions.
    Date: 1932
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Sweden-Aerotransport
    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Sponsor: AB Aerotransport (Swedish Air Lines)
    Artist: Anders Beckman, 1907-1967
    Manufacturer: J. Olsens Litogr.
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Credit Line: Bequest of Melvin Buchner.
    Date: circa 1935
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality