Usage Conditions May Apply Usage Conditions Apply There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page. IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu View Manifest View in Mirador Viewer Usage Conditions May Apply Usage Conditions Apply There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page. IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu View Manifest View in Mirador Viewer Usage Conditions May Apply Usage Conditions Apply There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page. IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu View Manifest View in Mirador Viewer

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.

Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.
Object Details
Country of Origin United States of America Type ART-Posters, Original Art Quality Medium Poster, Advertising, Commercial Aviation Manufacturer Aerospatiale Physical Description Multicolor, offset photolithograph advertising an abundant number of hand-drawn, hand-colored caricature scenes arranged in a busy and chaotic fashion. A horizontally stretched globe is on top with North America and France highlighted in orange. To the sides of the map are historical air- and spacecraft. Below is a comedic exposé of nine distinct Aérospatiale helicopters performing various tasks, represented from a variety of angles. At the center an Aérospatiale Puma sitting on a dock with propellers still running unloads human and animal passengers. A feathery yellow frame surrounds the scene. Dimensions 2-D - Unframed (H x W): 87.5 × 57.8cm (2 ft. 10 7/16 in. × 1 ft. 10 3/4 in.)
Inventory Number A19960112000 Data Source National Air and Space Museum Restrictions & Rights Usage conditions apply
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