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 85)

  • Flugtag Beyreuth
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Artist: Luttgens
    Date: 1925
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Zeppelin-Landung in der befreiten Pfalz
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Artist: A. Doerrer
    Date: July 13, 1930
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Zooligischen Garten
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Other: Kathchen Paulus, 1868-1935
    Date: June 21, 1896
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Deutsche Luft Hansa Dringend?
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Sponsor: Deutsche Luft Hansa (D.L.H.)
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Luft Hansa Bitte Einsteigen!
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Sponsor: Deutsche Luft Hansa (D.L.H.)
    Artist: Hans Vogel
    Manufacturer: Selle-Eysler, Dr.
    Credit Line: Found in Collection. Donor unknown. Cannot be reproduced without permission. Contact information as of 6/27/2005: ingrid.friedl@dlh.de
    Date: circa 1928
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Aerobus Koln-Frankfurt/M Fliegt Mehrmals Taglich
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Sponsor: Deutsche Luft Hansa (D.L.H.)
    Artist: K. Siegwardt
    Sponsor: Koln-Dusseldorfer Rheindampfschiffahrt
    Date: circa 1930
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Deutsche Luft Hansa The German Air Ways
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Sponsor: Deutsche Luft Hansa (D.L.H.)
    Artist: K. Siegwardt
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Deutsche Luft Hansa Im Winter Wird Geflogen
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Sponsor: Deutsche Luft Hansa (D.L.H.)
    Artist: Pape
    Date: circa 1933
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Deutsche Luft Hansa The German Air Ways
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Sponsor: Deutsche Luft Hansa (D.L.H.)
    Artist: K. Siegwardt
    Date: circa 1931
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Luftverkehrs-Verbindungen der Deutschen Luft Hansa 1926
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Sponsor: Deutsche Luft Hansa (D.L.H.)
    Date: 1926
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Deutsche Luft Hansa
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Artist: Atelier Beucke
    Sponsor: Deutsche Luft Hansa (D.L.H.)
    Manufacturer: Edler & Krische Hannover-Berlin
    Date: circa 1926
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Flugplan Halle
    Country of Origin: Germany
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality