“The highest art form of all is a human being in control of himself and his airplane in flight, urging the spirit of a machine to match his own.”
– Richard Bach
18 x 26 1/2 in./45.7 x 67 cm
Not one scintilla of doubt as to the electrifying effect this poster had on its audience. “Scintilla means ‘spark’ in Latin, so it’s a completely appropriate name for the Swiss company that produces magnetos – an alternator with permanent magnets used to generate the current in an internal combustion engine” (Crouse/Deco, p. 34). These magnetos were an essential component of the Wright Whirlwind engine, used in the flights of three pioneering American aviators: Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic flight on the Spirit of St. Louis; the polar explorer Richard E. Byrd, who followed Lindbergh just a month later; and the forgotten Duncan Chamberlin, who was actually the second trans-Atlantic aviator: he’d gone to Berlin to grab the prize for distance, just two weeks after Lindbergh’s flight. Scintilla, a Swiss company headquartered in New York City, was later bought by Bendix.
23 1/4 x 31 1/2 in./59.2 x 80 cm
“This incredible Art Deco image, which ties the tradition of high-seas couriers to the airborne new guard, is an exquisitely dramatic example of the way airmail service was being presented to the public in the 1930s. In this design, the silhouetted frigate and the seas upon which it sails are eclipsed by the streamlined fleet of Compagnie Générale-Aéropostale aircraft, in essence creating a lithographic dividing line between the antiquated and the modern. Compagnie Générale Aéropostale began operations in Toulouse in 1918 with the goal of serving the French colonies in Africa and South America” (Crouse/Deco, p. 28).
24 5/8 x 38 1/2 in./62.5 x 97.6 cm
Among the many posters that Villemot accomplished for Air France, this is one of the two he created for destinations in North Africa. With his characteristically evocative brushstrokes, he captures the blocky architecture – old and new – and the vibrant street life, as a tiny Air France jet flies overhead.