Romance of the Airways

Romance of the Airways Exhibition 

 Fly to South Sea Isles via Pan American Original Poster by Paul Lawler

 Flying Down to Rio in Five Days Via Pan American Original Poster by Paul Lawler

 Bermuda in 5 Hours - Pan American Airways Original Poster by Paul Lawler

Wings to Europe via Pan American Original Poster by Paul Lawler

Pan Am's Timeless Posters of the 1930s

September 20 through October 5, 2016

We are excited to announce our exhibition Romance of the Airways: Pan Am's Timeless Posters of the 1930sfeaturing 13 rare posters that capture the golden era of flying on Pan Am's remarkable Flying Clippers prior to WWII.

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight suddenly made the world a smaller place. Adventures never imagined seemed possible. The mania for flying ignited the public's imagination, and every advancement made front page news.

The reality of trans-ocean travel was not so simple however. There were no planes or landing strips capable of these flights, no weather, navigation, safety or communication systems in place, and no international agreements to organize them. To put this into perspective, until 1933, the fastest coast-to-coast schedule took 27 hours with 14 stops, all flown in daylight! 

One company -- Pan Am -- headed by the enterprising Juan Trippe, had the vision to solve all of these problems. In a series of remarkable steps during the Twenties, the persistent Yale graduate and WWI pilot parlayed his connections and far-reaching vision into the largest air transport company in the world. By 1930, what had started as a 90 mile route from Key West to Havana had grown into a 10,000 mile network that blanketed the Americas.

This was just an appetizer - in the Thirties, Tripp quickly set sights on Europe and Asia, and then Australia. With landing strips unable to support intercontinental aircraft at that time, he placed orders for long-range seaplanes, which he quickly dubbed Clippers, evoking the days of the great sailing ships of the 19th century. In the years leading up to World War II, as each increasingly sophisticated Clipper went into service, headlines - and gorgeous posters - traced Pan Am's triumphant march around the globe - a total of 65,000 route miles.

Early on, Pan Am had developed the art of public relations to make flying sound romantic, when in reality it had been slow, noisy and dangerous. With the advent of the Clippers, Pan Am capitalized on its achiements with exotic posters from its far-flung empire by Paul Lawler in the years from 1937 to 1939. 

To this day, these posters are considered the Holy Grail of airline poster art, one of the most sought after categories of poster collecting. "We are extraordinarily lucky to feature a complete set of these beautiful and historic posters in our exhibition," states Jim Lapides, President of International Poster Gallery. "I dare anyone to be surrounded by these posters and not be swept to places long ago and far away."

View all Pan Am posters

View all airline posters 


San Francisco - Hawaii Overnight! Via Pan American Original Poster by Frank McIntosh

Pan American Airways System (route map) Original Poster by Paul John Brown

Quaint Quito in the Ecuadorian Andes via Pan American Original Poster by Paul Lawler

Costa Rica- Pan American Original Poster by Artist Unknown

 Peru of the Incas in Three Days via Pan American Original Poster by Paul Lawler

On the Routes of the Flying Clipper Ships - Pan Am Original Poster by Kenneth Thompson

Yucatan - Mexicana Airlines Pan American Original Poster by Artist Unknown

 Wings to Guatemala Pan American Airways Original Poster by Paul Lawler
 

Transpacific Flight - It's a Small World by Pan American Airways Original Poster by Paul Lawler

There are No Distant Lands... by Flying Clipper Original Poster by Artist Unknown

 
Fly by Clipper to the Near East, India and Pakistan, and Orient Original Poster by Artist Unknown