TWA Chicago is a c. 1960 American travel poster designed by Austin Briggs for TWA.
TWA (Trans World Airlines) was formed in 1924 as Transcontinental & Western Air. The airline’s first route was New York to Los Angeles, soon followed by multiple National routes. The airline expanded to serve Europe, the Middle East and Asia after WWII when the company was under the control of Howard Hughes, owner from 1939 until 1961. Hughes was a dominant force in expanding and promoting the routes flown by his company. The economy was vastly improving, and travels through air for business and pleasure increased too. Posters were a key element to promoting this form of travel and TWA. The airline started a decline in the 1970s that ended up in a third bankruptcy that caused their acquisition by American Airlines in 2001. The airline operated in 132 destinations worldwide and had a fleet size of 190.
The artwork features Chicago’s downtown moveable bridges that date to the early 1900’s. There are a total of 18 bridges constructed between 1902 -1950’s. The design of the bridges is based on axels and counterweight systems uniquely designed in Chicago. Also featured in the artwork is the Wrigley Building, which can be seen on the left-hand side, built in 1924 and still stands as an important landmark of the city.
Austin Briggs (1908-1973) was a commercial artist who created a number of travel posters in the 1950’s -1960’s. He also painted many product advertisements for magazines in the mid-century. Briggs was an accomplished cartoonist who worked on the Flash Gordon syndicated comic strip succeeding creator, Alex Raymond. Along with Norman Rockwell, Briggs was a founder of the Famous Artists School, a correspondence course institute. In 1969, Briggs was inducted into the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame.
This is an Original Vintage Poster; it is not a reproduction. This poster is conservation mounted, linen backed, and in excellent condition.
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