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Object Timeline

1948

  • Work on this object began.

1963

  • We acquired this object.

2013

2019

  • You found it!

Poster, American Airlines, California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, 1948

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

E. McKnight Kauffer was born in Montana but in the mid-1910s traveled to England, where he settled and became a successful commercial artist whose work helped to elevate the status of the poster to that of the fine arts. He believed art and commerce could exist harmoniously, and used fine-art styles and techniques in his celebrated poster designs. He maintained, however, that the goal of a poster, unlike a painting, was always to sell products. In 1940, at the outbreak of World War II, he moved to New York. Although he never gained the renown he experienced in England, he found work designing for corporate clients and war relief agencies. In 1946–1953, he produced more than thirty posters for American Airlines, most of which are represented in the Cooper Hewitt collection. Kauffer wrote that travel posters should convey in a simple and straightforward way, "the character of places, the manners and differences of people, architectural interests and amusements." He often focused on the places and their people, rather than the travel itself, as shown from this image of a Western woman wearing a cowboy hat and red bandana.

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

Its dimensions are

100.5 × 76.4 cm (39 9/16 × 30 1/16 in.)

It is signed

Printed in script in black ink, lower left: E. McKnight Kauffer/‘48

It is inscribed

Printed in gray ink, lower left: LITHO IN U.S.A.

Cite this object as

Poster, American Airlines, California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, 1948; Designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer (American, active England, 1890–1954); USA; offset lithograph on paper, lined; 100.5 × 76.4 cm (39 9/16 × 30 1/16 in.); Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer; 1963-39-153

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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/18447305/ |title=Poster, American Airlines, California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, 1948 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=13 December 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>