"Philadelphia" Vintage TWA Poster by Robert Swanson, circa 1950s

Offered is a stunning and brightly colored travel poster for Trans World Airlines (TWA). The 1950s poster advertises Philadelphia as one of the airline's alluring destinations. The work was designed by Robert Swanson and features an image of the William Penn statue facing Independence Hall beneath a depiction of the Lockheed Constellation flying over head.

In the 1950s and ’60s, TWA was one of the world’s premier passenger airlines. First beginning in 1929, Transcontinental Air Transport (the precursor to TWA) broke into the passenger market with cross-country flight service. With celebrated pilot Charles Lindbergh acting as Chairman of the Technical Committee and, later, millionaire Howard Hughes owning the majority share of TWA, the airline quickly gained celebrity status.

The airline produced a wide array of advertisement posters to compliment their extensive list of routes. Posters such as this one advertised the destination passengers could reach with TWA, rather than just the airline itself. The posters were best at arousing excitement among viewers, and with iconic landmarks as their focus, the posters encouraged tourism to major domestic and international cities. Seen throughout airports, railway stations, travel agencies, ticket offices, and alike, the posters were a significant driver of airline ticket sales.

This poster was designed by artist Robert Swanson in the 1950s and features a depiction of the William Penn statue in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The statue of William Penn was installed in 1894 on the top of Philadelphia City Hall, and like Independence Hall, is an iconic monument in the city. The poster is topped with bright white lettering reading "Philadelphia" with "TWA Trans World Airlines" at bottom. Swanson's signature in the lithograph stone is visible at the bottom right, printed in black.


Overall very good condition, especially considering age and use. No visible tears or markings across page. Very small crease at bottom, with expertly repaired tears along border and some small in painting. Framed according to the highest conservation standards in a custom wooden frame.

Framed dimensions: 43"H x 28 1/2" W x 1 1/2" D.

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