Jet Pilot

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    Poster, Advertising, Movie, JET PILOT

    JET PILOT. Multicolor illustrated print advertising the film "Jet Pilot." A large illustration of John Wayne in pilot's attire, looking to his upper left as three US Air Force planes fly overhead. In the distant background three planes fly in a burnt-orange sky. A full-length illustration of Janet Leigh in a purple and yellow costume stands on the left of the poster looking toward the right. Text is contained in yellow boxes above and below the main image, and in the white bottom border. Partial text in sans-serif font: Earth-shaking, sky-shattering . . .SO BIG it took years to make! HOWARD HUGHES' JET PILOT Starring JOHN WAYNE · JANET LEIGH AND THE U.S. AIR FORCE. At top in black sans-serif font: "GREATEST AIR SPECTACLE OF THE JET AGE!"

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Display Status:

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

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.