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Australia Fly Qantas


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

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.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Qantas (Queensland & Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Washington Airline Society


Poster, Advertising, Commercial Aviation


2-D - Unframed (H x W): 101.6 x 63.5cm (40 x 25 in.)

Country of Origin


Physical Description

australia FLY QANTAS. Color photographic print advertising service to Australia with a collage of Australian scenes. At the top is a large photograph of a woman scuba diving in Coral Cave. Beneath is the text “Australia, Fly Qantas” in a modern sans-serif font. In the bottom half is a series of images, clockwise from the upper left: Ayers Rock (Uluru) in the Northern Territory, Smiggin Holes ski resort in New South Wales, Dunk Island on the Barrier Reef, the Todd River in the Northern Territory, and a sheep ranch at Tarwa near Canberra. In the center of these photographs is a small iconographic drawing of a koala bear. Full text at bottom: Australia’s Round-The-World Airline.


ART-Posters, Original Art Quality

Inventory Number


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