The Poster Collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum draws more visitors than any other museum in the world—90,000 a day in the summertime—and the exhibit of air travel posters featured in this unique companion volume combines arresting, colorful art, rare archival material, and a unique approach to aeronautical history.
The posters—most of them never before published—feature barnstormers, gliders, and flying boats, the earliest passenger flights, the first luxury-liners, mail carriers, jets, and much more. Spanning a century and a half, they combine the popular art and the commerce of their eras, with both explored in the entertaining, informative text by a longstanding National Air and Space Museum curator. From 19th-century circus impresarios offering rides in gaudy hot-air balloons to the sleek 21st-century airliners, the posters provide a fascinating illustrated history of flight as it evolved from an exotic realm inhabited only by visionaries and daredevils into our modern world of speedy jets and frequent flyers—no longer extraordinary, perhaps, but still echoing with the exhilarating thrill and glamorous excitement captured here.
Countless visitors to the museum’s traveling poster exhibition and the permanent exhibition "America by Air" will delight in the gorgeous and wonderful graphics collected in this appealing, affordable book—and so will aviation buffs, armchair travelers, and poster connoisseurs everywhere.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Joanne Gernstein London has been a curator at National Air and Space Museum (NASM) for 19 years, 16 of those as curator of the 1400-piece poster collection. As a historian at the NASM, she has contributed to such major exhibitions as "Legend, Memory, and the Great War in the Air" (about WWI) and "Where Next, Columbus?" (on the state of exploration on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s landing in 1492).