Robert Harmer Smith, known as simply Bob Smith, continued the mid-50s trend of Trans World Airlines’s bright and eye-catching posters with his illustration of Los Angeles. Warm and tropical feeling, the illustration highlights both the beautiful architecture of California’s historic Spanish missions, and the yellow hues of the West Coast’s setting sun. Very appropriate for the Golden State!
Trans World Airlines was a major American airline from 1930 until 2001. In 1930, the two companies—Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express—merged to become Transcontinental & Western Air, operating a route from New York City to Los Angeles with stops in St. Louis, Kansas City, and more. With American, United, and Eastern, Transcontinental & Western Air was one of the “Big Four” domestic airlines of the United States in 1930. The airline prospered during World War II, flying 40 million miles for the Army. Howard Hughes acquired control of the company in 1939 and led its postwar expansion to include routes to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. In 1950, the airline officially changed its name to Trans World Airlines. At its peak, TWA was well-regarded by the Hollywood set and came to be known as “Airline to the Stars”. It was during this time that these striking posters were created, to entice the hardworking American people into travel. Unfortunately, with the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, TWA began its slow decline—struggling with debt, restructuring, and terrible accidents—until its final bankruptcy filing in 2001.
Why We Love It
Graphic, gold-washed, vibrant, and vivacious, this vintage airline ad sums up its destination with classic allusions to some of the most commonly recognizable colors, textures and locales. It's a referential works of fantasy, stirring a desire to take to the skies—or hunker down in a retro day dream. This top-flight (heh) poster design was created for Trans World Airlines in the 1950s, aka the Golden Age of air travel. Airline advertisements at the time touted an in-flight journey that was just as luxurious as a vacation itself. Fly TWA: Los Angeles is a conduit to a serious nostalgia moment, a flashback to when people used to get dressed up to fly, to extensive legroom and swirling scotches ... Read more on the blog!
+ Limited-edition, exclusive to 20x200
+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available
Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.
Museo Portfolio Rag
14"x11" | edition of 250
20"x16" | edition of 50
24"x20" | edition of 20
40"x30" | edition of 10