Monday, October 19, 2009

SmithsonianAir and Space Collection

The recent release of the Smithsonian's Seed Catalog made me hope that they would continue to develop the online catalog of their large collections of vintage posters and advertisements. It seems that they will be continuing this trend of releasing their collections online with the release of almost half of the 1300+ posters owned by the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. The catalog is designed well with many of the images having a nice descriptions of the work with information on the country of origin and the aerial event or company it was produced by.

The artwork collection contains posters of all types of aviation related posters. Most of my favorites are the illustrated advertisements for air mail corporations or for air/balloon shows. The detail included in these posters is often amazing, many contains numerous details int he backgrounds that are only noticed after taking a good look at them. The 70's and 80's advertisements for traveling seem so much less well thought out then the illustrated adverts. Most are simply a generic postcard picture with the name of the destination and an airline logo.

There is also a decent amount of wartime ads in the collection. Many are promoting the US air force in attempts to gain new recruits. There are also some posters for civilians during war time. There are a good number of Chinese informational posters on how to survive and defend against air attacks. Many of these posters also contain graphs and charts giving information on different nations air forces and the damage that different size and types of bombs can inflict. These posters are as creepy as they are interesting. C
heck out the full collection here.

Poster designer must have been
an Air Force Captain

Nothing racist or demeaning to see here

I never knew polish people flew unicorns.

This makes Argentina look terrible.

It's scary that this stuff was necessarily
and useful at one point.

This looks like the craziest event ever

If this wasn't an aviation collection I
would have no Idea what Braniff is.

I dont know what BOAC is but I want to go to
Australia, or be a sponge. Either works.

Another awesome reason to go to Australia

"Wow" is all I can say

Babes and Balloons what more do you need?

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