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 149)

  • Tivoli PA Ext Aordinaire Grade Fete A laquelle assisteront Les Osages
    Country of Origin: France
    Pilot: Jules-Francois Dupuis-Delcourt, 1802-1864
    Other: The Osages
    Credit Line: Gift of Harry F. Guggenheim
    Date: 1827
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • 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
  • Air France
    Country of Origin: France
    Sponsor: Air France, 1933--
    Artist: Hervé Baille, 1896-1974
    Date: 1947
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France Paris
    Country of Origin: France
    Sponsor: Air France, 1933--
    Artist: P. Baudouin
    Date: 1947
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air France Towards New Skies
    Country of Origin: France
    Sponsor: Air France, 1933--
    Designer: Atelier Perceval
    Date: 1947
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • 1er Salon International de l'Aéronautique
    Country of Origin: France
    Manufacturer: Affiches F. Lochard
    Sponsor: Automobile Club of France
    Credit Line: Museum Purchase
    Date: December 24-30, 1908
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Vincennes Au Benefice de la Caisse de Secours de l'Aeronautique
    Country of Origin: France
    Sponsor: Aero Club de France
    Manufacturer: Les Imprimieres Francaises Reunies, France,
    Date: May 19 to May 20, 1929
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Experience Capazza
    Country of Origin: France
    Manufacturer: Imprimerie Clement
    Pilot: Louis Capazza, 1862-1928
    Date: 1892
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Les Mysteres de l'Ete
    Country of Origin: France
    Artist: Eugene Emmanuel Amaury-Duval
    Date: June 8-14, 1879
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • 2me Course de Ballons Montes
    Country of Origin: France
    Manufacturer: Morris Pere et Fils
    Date: October 14, 1888
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Conference sur la Navigation Aerienne
    Country of Origin: France
    Pilot: Gaston Tissandier, 1843 - 1899
    Date: August 1, 1886
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Aux Sceptiques l'air et le rail
    Country of Origin: France
    Artist: Georges Villa, January 24, 1883-
    Date: 1921
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality

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