Mid-Century Travel Poster Art

Travel anyone? Travel during the mid-century modern era was made easier by the burgeoning airline industry.  The introduction of the Douglas DC-8 and the Boeing 707 jets in the late fifties, helped shorten the world by literally leaps and bounds.  The jet age ushered in a new class of traveler: the “jet set.”  The “jet set” exemplified modern travel and luxury.  Airlines quickly capitalized on avant-garde modern motifs in their advertisements and travel posters to lure in passengers.   The artists who created these iconic pieces of art captured the timeless feel and excitement of the jet age.  Now collector’s items, these posters still evoke a sense of modern adventure.

Among the many mid-century era travel artists, a few clearly stood apart such as, David Klein, Stan Galli, and Tom Hayne.  David Klein painted the famous Fifth Avenue night scene for TWA’s New York poster which captured the nightlife in a simple colorful cubist style.  Klein created several other equally modern posters that transported you visually to faraway places and exotic locales.   Stan Galli painted equally exciting posters for United Air Lines, but perhaps none more exciting as seen in the captivating Hawaii outrigger poster.  Tom Hayne, another artist commissioned by United, painted travel scenes that emphasized modern architecture such as the twin Marina City towers in Chicago.  Another United poster features a unique perspective: faint sailboats on Lake Michigan as viewed between the two Mies van der Rohe designed Internationalist Style Lake Shore Drive apartments in Chicago. 

Original posters can be quite pricey; however, inexpensive reproductions can be purchased online.  Moreover, what better way to travel back in time by seeing these classics on your wall.