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 12)

  • Gigantic Air Maneuvers
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Sponsor: Charleston Junior Chamber of Commerce
    Date: 1947
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air Show Sponsored by Shelby Lions & Shelby Flying Club
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Other: George Gowan
    Sponsor: Shelby Lions and Shelby Flying Club
    Date: 1946
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • First Annual Air Circus
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Sponsor: Estill American Legion Post No. 131
    Other: Ralph James Greenwood
    Date: October 5, 1947
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • First Annual Air Circus
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Sponsor: Estill American Legion Post No. 131
    Other: Ralph James Greenwood
    Date: October 5, 1947
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Free Air Show
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Sponsor: Civil Air Patrol
    Date: November 4, 1951
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Gala Air Carnival
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Sponsor: Junior Chamber of Commerce
    Date: July 14, 1946
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Gala Air Carnival
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Sponsor: Junior Chamber of Commerce
    Date: July 14, 1946
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Greater Cumberland Air Show
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Charles Bing
    Sponsor: Cumberland Airways
    Pilot: Woodrow W. Edmondson, 1912 - 1992
    Date: 1946
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air Show 4th of July
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Sponsor: American Legion
    Pilot: Betty Skelton Frankman
    Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Clem Whittenbeck
    Sponsor: National Aeronautic Association
    Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
    Date: 1945
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air Show for the Benefit of the Richmond County Memorial Hospital
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Date: December 1, 1946
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Conway Air Show
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Date: September 8, 1946
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Mammoth Jaycee Air Show
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Pilot: Beverly "Bevo" Howard, 1914-1971
    Hiers Furtick, 1913-1994
    Sponsor: Orangeburg Junior Chamber of Commerce
    Date: November 2, 1947
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality