"Washington. Fly TWA Jets" Vintage Travel Poster by David Klein, c. 1960s

This dazzling lithograph poster was designed by David Klein, circa 1958. It features the dome of the U.S. Capitol building, reflecting the glittering colors of an exquisite firework display above. The fireworks form the Great Seal of the United States. In large bold letters, the poster reads, “WASHINGTON / Fly TWA Jets.” Klein was most famous for his TWA works and produced most of his posters from 1955 to 1965. Klein’s use of brilliant colors and large block letters drew attention to the advertisements.

In the 1950s and ’60s, Trans World Airlines (TWA) was one of the world’s premier passenger carriers. In 1929, rather than simply delivering mail like many carriers at that time, Transcontinental Air Transport (the precursor to TWA) decided to break into the passenger market by offering cross-country flight service. With celebrated international pilot Charles Lindbergh acting as Chairman of the Technical Committee and later millionaire Howard Hughes owning the majority share of TWA, the airline gained celebrity status.

Echoing the glitzy TWA’s reputation were the airline’s advertising posters, which captured the allure of travel with colorful and exquisitely designed scenes. The posters were explicitly created to inspire dreams of adventure in both foreign and domestic locals. Seen throughout airports, railway stations, travel agencies, airline ticket offices, hotels, and on billboards, the posters were a significant driver of airline ticket sales. At a time when travel by air was still novel, these posters had a huge influence and showed the U.S. how accessible the rest of the country could be.

CONDITION:

Overall good condition and very good color. Repaired tears across the image, mostly to the black background. Linen backed. Poster dimensions: 40 H x 24 ¾” W. 

Framed in a custom-built, archival black and gold wooden frame with UV Plexiglas and acid-free backing. Framed Dimensions: 41 1/2”H x 26 1/2”W x 2”D. 



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