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 13)

  • Air France World Poster
    Country of Origin: France
    Artist: Lucien Boucher, 1889-1971
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: 1947
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Riviera Express
    Country of Origin: France
    Manufacturer: Creation "Publix"
    Artist: Edmond Maurus
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: circa 1930
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Riviera Express
    Country of Origin: France
    Manufacturer: Creation "Publix"
    Artist: Edmond Maurus
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: circa 1930
    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
  • Air France Reseau Aérien Mondial
    Country of Origin: France
    Other: E. Girard
    Manufacturer: Mappe Monde, French,
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: circa 1933
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France Europe-Orient Extreme-Orient Service Hebdomadaire
    Country of Origin: France
    Artist: Paul Colin, 1892-1985
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: 1932
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France Le Confort Qui Va Vite
    Country of Origin: France
    Artist: Roger De Valerio
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: 1936
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France Le Confort Qui Va Vita
    Country of Origin: France
    Artist: Roger De Valerio
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: 1936
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France Le Confort Qui Va Vite
    Country of Origin: France
    Artist: Roger De Valerio
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: 1936
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France Le Confort Qui Va Vite
    Country of Origin: France
    Artist: Roger De Valerio
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Date: 1936
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Per K.L.M. Naar Parijs
    Country of Origin: Netherlands
    Sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines
    Societe Air France
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France
    Country of Origin: France
    Manufacturer: Joseph-Charles
    Artist: Jules Isnard Dransy, 1883-1945
    Sponsor: Societe Air France
    Credit Line: Found in Collection. Donor unknown. Cannot be reproduced without obtaining permission. As of 6/27/2005, contact: Sonia Ountzian, Head of Photographic Archives, Cultural and Historical Heritage Department, Air France. soountzian@airfrance.fr
    Date: 1933
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality