by Dr. Lori Verderame
Travel posters are quite popular collectibles and speak to the traditions of major and minor cities, sites, historic landmarks, and locales. Posters that highlight the world’s most famous places like Paris, Montreal, Chicago, or Tel Aviv or those which feature historic travel destinations are commanding big values with collectors. Further, posters advertising types or methods of travel such as cruise lines like Cunard and Holland America Lines or airlines like Pan Am and United or trains and railroads like the 20th Century Ltd. and the B & O are extremely trendy now. Many cruiseline, airline and railroad travel posters will highlight not only exotic destinations but also feature a fleet of luxurious ships, specialty offerings on flights, and railroad club cars, sleepers, and dining options while in transit.
From the late 19th Century to the mid 1900s, travel posters have come in all types, colors, styles, and designs. They have come to popularize and advertise luxury air, train, and even car travel. Many famous artists have been responsible for producing this recognizable imagery.
Some posters feature the journey while others highlight the destination. A quick train ride to Boston is the message via a 1950s New Haven railroad poster featuring a bold, front and center image of Fanueil Hall. And, a highly recognizable Pacific coast highway map surrounded by boats and marinas suggests that visitors should come and experience California’s sun-drenched coast.
What to Look For
Railroad posters advertising new routes or lines, state of the art locomotives, trains, or dining cars, popular railways like the Pennsylvania Railroad, Norfolk Southern, or B & O.
Posters that feature the characteristic work of a famed artist or well known illustrator of a particular period like art deco master, John Held will attract the greatest interest.
Thick poster paper, bright colors, strong graphics, and iconic images of world famous sites like the Roman Coliseum, the New York City skyline, or the snowy mountains of Aspen, Colorado are just the type of travel posters that will bring great interest with collectors worldwide. Be sure to know the difference between a poster and a print when you are looking for authentic travel posters.
Some of the most interesting and valuable travel posters feature a particular city showing its skyline, railroad lines and routes, airline destinations and logos, and luxury ocean liners and cruise offerings.
Get an online appraisal report of your travel poster from Dr. Lori