Aviation Posters
36 posters embrace the magic of flight.

Travel through time and space via our magnificent collection of aviation posters, which include: early expositions in Reims, Nice, New York, and Egypt; dreamy SAS flights to Germany and Africa; Modern Air France journeys around the world; and trips around the US with TWA, American, Pan Am, and more. Buckle your seat belts and open the blinds—it’s going to be an incredible trip.

75. Grande Semaine d'Aviation. 1909.
Artist: Ernest Montaut (1879-1909))
46 1/2 x 63 3/4 in./118 x 162 cm
Est: $7,000-$9,000

“The true ancestor of the aviation poster genre can be traced to… Montaut… for his portrayal of the trailblazing assembly at Reims. Soft tints in the sky indicate that sunset is near, a time of day when the wind was apt to drop and flying was considered to be safer. A svelte female spectator, back to the viewer, lifts her arm in salute to an armada of aircraft rising like a swarm of bees… The curving zebra stripes of her costume—fully consonant with an impression of motion and speed, which after all was the crux of the message delivered by the newfangled flying machine—resonate as effectively as the determined look on the face of the nearest pilot. The Grande Semaine brought together for the first time the world’s greatest fliers. Among them were Louis Blériot, Henry Farman, Léon Delagrange, Hubert Latham, count Charles de Lambert, Louis Paulhan, Roger Sommer, and the American entry, Glenn Hammond Curtiss… Parisians streamed to the event; three thousand Britons came from London by special excursion, and two thousand Americans turned up to root for the single representative of their country. Reims was a watershed in the history of flight. Aviators who had flown ‘before Reims’ were regarded as veterans compared with those who learned to fly later. It dramatically demonstrated the progress made in aviation and provided an incalculable stimulus for the design and production of aeroplanes” (Looping the Loop, p. 42). This is the larger format.

79. Meeting d’Aviation / Nice. 1910.
Artist: Charles Léonce Brossé (1871-1945)
29 5/8 x 42 1/8 in./75.3 x 107 cm
Est: $12,000-$15,000

From a bird’s eye view above the cockpit of an early monoplane resembling a Blériot, we share in the pilot’s vertiginous, breathtaking vista of Nice and the Gold Coast as he scatters a bouquet of roses to the town at his feet. Brossé, a graphic chronicler of the city of Nice, not only provided us with a magnificent poster for the 1910 air show, but was also one of the event’s key organizers.

83. Internationale Flugausstellung. 1912.
Artist: A. Zapletal
23 5/8 x 35 3/4 in./60 x 91 cm
Est: $4,000-$5,000

“Austria-Hungary’s first international aeronautical exposition, held on the centrally located Prater in Vienna in the late spring of 1912, was followed up by a well-attended flying meet on the historic plain of Wagram where the Austrians had defeated Napoleon I in 1809. For the price of one kroner, Viennese could inspect firsthand the latest product of constructors and then view the craft in action at the aerodrome fifty kilometers away. This exceptionally bold poster, with chromatically strong composition, is dominated by a graceful, birdlike Etrich Taube monoplane whose wing tips curved upward to provide a degree of stability. Equipped with a sixty-horsepower Daimler motor, it proved to be one of the world’s most successful aeroplanes. So much so that the German Rumpler factory purchased the design outright to produce Taubes of its own” (Looping the Loop, p. 83).

87. Salvatore Castelli. 1934.
Artist: Plinio Codognato (1878-1940)
39 x 55 in./99 x 139.7 cm
Est: $8,000-$10,000

What a forceful image from Codognato for the Salvatore Castelli in-country shipping enterprise. Its muscularly direct Art Deco assertiveness provides instant evidence that the firm can get anything one might need from point A to point B with extreme immediacy, be that by land, sea, or air. Codognato was one of the best Italian graphic artists of the 20th century, and created about 150 first-rate posters for commercial products, theater, and sporting events. He is best known for his work for Fiat, Pirelli, Campari, and Cinzano, as well as his auto racing posters. All his work is charged with motion that gives it a unique intensity.

93. SAS / Africa.
Artist: Otto Nielsen (1916-2000)
24 3/8 x 38 1/4 in./62 x 99.8 cm
Est: $800-$1,000

Nielsen catapulted SAS’s travel posters into collector items when he introduced animals as the central theme. As with all of his assignments for SAS, he traveled to the location to be promoted—and made all of his animal sketches on site with as much detail as possible, only supplementing his work by a trip to the zoo; he never used photographs as references. His African elephants are a prime example of his distinct ability to not only capture an experience in a new place, but to also imbue it with awe and splendor.

94. Air France / Afrique du Nord. 1950.
Artist: Jean Even (1910-1986)
12 1/2 x 19 7/8 in./31.7 x 50.5 cm
Est: $800-$1,000

After studying with Devambez and Charles Guérin at the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1933-37, Even went on to become a painter whose landscapes collected prizes at one Salon exhibition after another. The Havas agency noticed his work and commissioned him to create a series of paintings to be used on posters for their Air France account. For North Africa, he conveys a small hillside town in muted tones and soft brushstrokes—a hazy and dreamy scene, punctuated by just one crisply drawn element: the Air France craft soaring above.

99. Pan Am / New York. ca. 1938.
Artist: Anonymous
25 x 40 in./63.4 x 101.5 cm
Est: $1,000-$1,200

From 1947-1961, Pan Am’s Boeing 377 Stratocruiser superseded previous long-range airliners, boasting a highly advanced and innovative design that featured two passenger decks and a pressurized cabin. Here, the Stratocruiser soars high above the skyscrapers of New York City—below, behold some of the Big Apple’s wonders: cabaret girls, a horse ride through Central Park, the ballet, and languid seals, which are perhaps best seen at one of the city’s many zoos. This silkscreen print boasts lovely saturated colors.

102. TWA / Destination Sun.
Artist: David Klein (1918-2005)
25 x 39 3/4 in./63.6 x 101 cm
Est: $700-$900

David Klein created a version of this poster with the word ‘Miami’ emblazoned across the sky—but this paired-down version is just as evocative of the golden sunlight in Florida’s bustling seaside city. Be sure to bring your most stylish sunglasses for traipsing through the Design District or lounging on the beach.

107. American Airlines / Washington.
Artist: W. Goldberg
29 7/8 x 40 5/8 in./76 x 103.2 cm
Est: $800-$1,000

Washington, D.C.’s JFK Center for the Performing Arts is abuzz in this stylized design by Goldberg. In the distance, the Capitol is alit beneath a starry sky.

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Sunday, June 23 at 11am EDT
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In-gallery viewing June 7 – 22 (Daily 11am-6pm)

Drop by and be dazzled!