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Travel Posters

Beckoning travelers to distant and glamorous destinations, full-color and dazzling posters were used by travel agencies and visitors bureaus to woo the vacationer to distant and exotic places. Travel posters began as advertising, not art, and sold the allure of travel itself. In their ability to awaken one’s dreams of exploration, sense of adventure, and desire to experience the world anew, they remain one of the most popular and collectible types of posters to date.

The first half of the 20th century marked the gilded age of travel, when the journey was equally important to the destination, and the elegant affair of boarding the airplane or the ocean liner meant dressing for the occasion of travel. The early to mid-20th century also marked an incredible time for the graphic arts and design as the swirling, whiplash curves found in Art Nouveau gave way to the symmetry and geometry of Art Deco.

The cerebral and soaring posters by A.M. Cassandre of the ocean liners the Normandie, Statendam and Atlantique ocean liners, which epitomized modern travel in the Industrial Age. Boasting every locale traveler could dream of, the vintage travel poster could be found on booths and railways stations across America and Europe.


Quick Facts

  • NASA created a series of posters echoing the WPA’s mid-1930’s travel prints advertising four potentially habitable exo-planets as interstellar tourist destinations
  • In June of 2014, the 1931 poster “L’Atlantique,” by A.M. Cassandre, was auctioned off by Christie’s London for $50,880
  • Between the 1890s and 1930s, Viennese merchant Julius Paul collected more than 6,000 posters. Swann auctioned his collection, estimating that the value of his 200 finest travel posters ranged from $400 to $7500

Recommended Items at Auction

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"IRELAND, GREAT SOUTHERN RAILWAYS" TRAVEL POSTER 20th Century 43.5" x 23". Unframed.
May 23, 9:30 AM EDT
"IRELAND, GREAT SOUTHERN RAILWAYS" TRAVEL POSTER 20th Century 43.5" x 23". Unframed.
by Eldred's
Est: $500- $1,000
$4507 Bids
France - Bretagne travel poster
Jun 22, 10:00 AM EDT
France - Bretagne travel poster
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $150- $300
$453 Bids
KNILM ROYAL NETHERLANDS INDIAN AIRWAYS TRAVEL POSTER, 1932. - Sight: 24 x 15 inches.
May 23, 11:00 AM EDT
KNILM ROYAL NETHERLANDS INDIAN AIRWAYS TRAVEL POSTER, 1932. - Sight: 24 x 15 inches.
by Sloans & Kenyon
Est: $500- $700
$2752 Bids
AIR FRANCE SOUTH EMERICAN BY VICTOR VASARELY TRAVEL POSTER, 1946. - Size: 39 x 24 inch.
May 23, 11:00 AM EDT
AIR FRANCE SOUTH EMERICAN BY VICTOR VASARELY TRAVEL POSTER, 1946. - Size: 39 x 24 inch.
by Sloans & Kenyon
Est: $800- $1,200
$4252 Bids
Barcelona, Spain Travel Poster
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Barcelona, Spain Travel Poster
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Cunard "Liverpool Boston, New York" Travel Poster
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Cunard "Liverpool Boston, New York" Travel Poster
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $900- $1,200
$3701 Bid
Tokyo Travel Poster
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Tokyo Travel Poster
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Amalfi, Italy Travel Poster
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Amalfi, Italy Travel Poster
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $500- $750
$2101 Bid
France - Chateau de Blois travel poster
Jun 22, 10:00 AM EDT
France - Chateau de Blois travel poster
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $150- $300
$251 Bid
Cunard Travel Poster
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Cunard Travel Poster
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Cunard Travel Poster
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Cunard Travel Poster
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
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Original Messageries Marititime Levant Ocean Indien Poster by Brenet C1950
Jun 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Original Messageries Marititime Levant Ocean Indien Poster by Brenet C1950
by The Ross Art Group, Inc
Est: $300- $600
$2001 Bid
Cunard Travel Poster
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Cunard Travel Poster
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $800- $1,600
$4001 Bid
Tokyo Travel Poster
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Tokyo Travel Poster
by Morgan Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Mail It By Air - commercial poster
Jun 22, 10:00 AM EDT
Mail It By Air - commercial poster
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $150- $300
$251 Bid
[TRAVEL]. TAUZIN, Louis, artist. Vichy / P.L.M. Paris: F. Champenois, [1911].
May 31, 10:00 AM EDT
[TRAVEL]. TAUZIN, Louis, artist. Vichy / P.L.M. Paris: F. Champenois, [1911].
by Hindman
Est: $700- $1,000
$3501 Bid
[POTTERY]. Group of 3 Toby Jugs and a Porcelain Figurine. [...
May 23, 10:00 AM CDT
[POTTERY]. Group of 3 Toby Jugs and a Porcelain Figurine. [...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids
Italian Riviera, Portofino Travel Lithograph Print
Jun 01, 2:00 PM EDT
Italian Riviera, Portofino Travel Lithograph Print
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $50- $100
$400 Bids
Poster – Cunard - "Die neue Carmania und Franconia 23000 BRT Cunard Line".
Jun 05, 10:00 AM CEST
Poster – Cunard - "Die neue Carmania und Franconia 23000 BRT Cunard Line".
by Zisska & Lacher
Est: €60- €100
€600 Bids
Swissair. An original poster design by Hans Looser (1897-1984), circa 1950s
May 23, 10:00 AM BST
Swissair. An original poster design by Hans Looser (1897-1984), circa 1950s
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £500- £800
£5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Travel Posters


The Ross Art Group, Inc

The Ross Art Group, Inc

Activity Auctions

Activity Auctions

Sloans & Kenyon

Sloans & Kenyon