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 29)

  • CIDNA-SWISSAIR Paris Stambul in the Same Day
    Country of Origin: France
    Switzerland
    Sponsor: CIDNA (Compagnie Internationale de Navigation AĆ©rienne)
    Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Schweitzer Luftverkehr
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: ca 1928
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Imperial Airways & Swissair Fly to Winter Sport
    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Sponsor: Imperial Airways
    Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1938
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Swiss Air Lines Speed Safety Comfort
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Manufacturer: Orell Fuessli Verlag
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • "Swissair' Services Aeriens
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Manufacturer: Art Institut Orell Fussli
    Artist: Carl Moos, 1873-1959
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Swissair Argentina
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Designer: Emil Schulthess, 1913-1996
    Photographer: Georg Gerster, 1928-
    Designer: Hans Frei
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Swissair Europe
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Designer: Emil Schulthess, 1913-1996
    Photographer: Georg Gerster, 1928-
    Designer: Hans Frei
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Swissair Iraq
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Designer: Emil Schulthess, 1913-1996
    Photographer: Georg Gerster, 1928-
    Designer: Hans Frei
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Swissair Brazil
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Designer: Emil Schulthess, 1913-1996
    Photographer: Georg Gerster, 1928-
    Designer: Hans Frei
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Swissair California
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Designer: Emil Schulthess, 1913-1996
    Photographer: Georg Gerster, 1928-
    Designer: Hans Frei
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Swissair Italy
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Designer: Emil Schulthess, 1913-1996
    Photographer: Georg Gerster, 1928-
    Designer: Hans Frei
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Swissair Philippines
    Country of Origin: Switzerland
    Designer: Emil Schulthess, 1913-1996
    Photographer: Georg Gerster, 1928-
    Designer: Hans Frei
    Sponsor: Swissair (Schweizerische Luftverkehr)
    Date: 1972
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality