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 10 of 10)

  • Semana Aerea 1929 Asociacion Mexicana de Aeronautica
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Sponsor: Asociacion Mexicana de Aeronautica
    Manufacturer: Manuel Leon Sanchez
    Date: December 10, 1929--December 16, 1929
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Air Mexicana Mazatlan
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Sponsor: Mexicana Airlines
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Mexicana A Flying Success for 60 Years
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Sponsor: Mexicana Airlines
    Date: 1921-1981
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Fumad Bacara
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Artist: G. Borgognani
    Date: 1929
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Los Tigres Voladores
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Artist: Vidal
    Credit Line: Bequest of Melvin Buchner.
    Date: circa 1942
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Mexicana A320
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Sponsor: Mexicana Airlines
    Date: circa 1991
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Mexicana
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Sponsor: Mexicana Airlines
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Aeromexico Vacations Mexico City
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Credit Line: Copyright Aerovias de Mexico. Donated by J. Roger Bentley.
    Date: 1989
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Aeromexico Vacations Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Sponsor: Aerovias de Mexico, 1988--
    Credit Line: Copyright Aerovias de Mexico. Donated by J. Roger Bentley.
    Date: circa 1989
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality
  • Aeromexico
    Country of Origin: Mexico
    Sponsor: Aerovias de Mexico, 1988--
    Credit Line: Copyright Aerovias de Mexico. Donated by J. Roger Bentley.
    Date: circa 1989
    Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality