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Object Timeline

1946

  • Work on this object began.

1953

  • Work on this object ended.

1963

  • We acquired this object.

2013

2021

Poster, American Airlines to California

This is a Poster. It was designed by E. McKnight Kauffer and made for (as the client) American Airlines. It is dated 1948 and we acquired it in 1963. Its medium is lithograph. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.


In the late 1940s, Kauffer and Bernard Waldman set out west on research trips for a series of American Airlines posters. These adventures resulted in one of the most successful campaigns of Kauffer’s career. The subject of flight had long brought out the best in Kauffer. A painting of Flight, the iconic poster that had kick-started his career, hung in his studio until his death. As the writer Arnold Bennett had described him years before, Kauffer was “as a bird, forever in flight, forever searching for a place to come to rest.”

This object was donated by Mrs. Edward McKnight Kauffer. It is credited Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer.

Its dimensions are

101.9 × 76.4 cm (40 1/8 × 30 1/16 in.)

It is signed

Printed in script in blue ink, lower right: E. McKnight Kauffer

Cite this object as

Poster, American Airlines to California; Designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer (American, active England, 1890–1954); USA; lithograph; 101.9 × 76.4 cm (40 1/8 × 30 1/16 in.); Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer; 1963-39-131

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18447257/ |title=Poster, American Airlines to California |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=19 October 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>