Away We Go! An Exhibition of Vintage Travel Posters

May 13—October 17, 2010

Boston Public Library, Copley Square (Changing Exhibits Gallery)

Home FrontIn these days of high security, expensive gas, and lost luggage, can you imagine there was ever a time when travel was thrilling, special and exotic?

The Boston Public Library invites you to journey back to the early twentieth century, the “Golden Age of Travel.” Railways opened up America and Europe, luxe ocean liners introduced elegance into overseas voyages, and drivers took to the road in record numbers in their new automobiles. By the mid-1940s, new airlines crisscrossed the globe, winging adventure-seekers to far-flung destinations.

Travel agents and ticket offices during this period were festooned with vivid, eye-catching posters, all designed to capture the beauty, excitement and adventure of travel and to promote a world of enticing destinations and new modes of transportation. Individual artists gained fame for their distinctive graphic styles and iconic imagery, and many posters from this era still remain important works of art long after their original advertising purposes have faded.

The Boston Public Library is home to more than 350 vintage travel posters, most dating from the 1920s and 1930s. The library’s collections also include outstanding holdings of early postcards, travel diaries, maps, guidebooks and photographs related to travel.

dsc9243 View the Exhibition

View the BPL’s Collection


Exhibition Credits

Coloring Pages



Exhibition Gallery Images

Photography: © Chuck Choi