This very fun poster by artist David Klein won the American Society of Travel Agents travel poster competition in 1961. Dominating the foreground is a colorful picture of one of the Swiss Guards at the Vatican looking resplendent in his official uniform. And in the background are the most famous sights in Rome, including the Roman Coliseum and the Vatican.
These splashy pictures catch the eye and sell the idea of a trip to Rome in a very powerfully visual way. The details of how one would actually get to Italy --- by getting on a TWA jet and flying there --- appear almost as an aside, with “Fly TWA Jets” written simply at the bottom and the picture of a small jet plane winging across the top of the poster.
This vintage poster, with its late 1950s/early 1960s feel, triggers nostalgia for that much simpler era of travel sixty years ago when jet planes could whisk one away with no worries about frustratingly long lines at security and passport checkpoints.
David Klein (1918-2005), a commercial artist from Texas who settled in New York, was the illustrator for many advertising campaigns for Broadway shows but is best known for his travel posters, particularly for those he did for TWA during the 1950s and 1960s.
This poster will make a fun and colorful addition to any poster collection, especially a collection of vintage travel posters that evoke those early days of airline travel.