This is a colorful TWA travel poster for flights across America, by 20th century illustrator Frank Lacano. The poster depicts a plane’s silhouette flying over Washington, D.C. featuring the Capitol and Lincoln Memorial. The text “TWA to and across AMERICA” and “TRANS WORLD AIRLINES” appear at top and bottom, in bold red and black block letters. The poster, an offset color lithograph, was published in circa 1950s.
In the 1950s and ’60s, Trans World Airlines (TWA) was one of the world’s premier passenger carriers. In 1929, rather than 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. 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 in large cities, the posters were a significant driver of airline ticket sales.
Frank Lanaco was a 20th century illustrator; his body of work was predominately produced in the 1950s and 60s. He provided illustrations for TWA, Reader’s Digest and Coronet magazines, and for several front covers designs of Betty Crocker cookbooks and a contemporary “How To” book series. His work for TWA in the 1950s also included a popular and highly collected “Fly TWA. Italy, Florence” poster.
This poster is in good condition. Colors are original and still vibrant, with minimal fading. Small tear repaired at right edge, above Lincoln’s head. Poster has been signed in stone by artist, “Lacano,” at bottom right. Poster size is 40” H x 25” W. This poster has been artfully and archivally presented in a black and gold custom-built frame. Framed dimensions: 44” H x 29" W x 2” D.
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