Our cover this month, New York/TWA by David Klein, sold for $7,500 at Swann Auction Galleries Vintage Posters sale on Feb. 18, 2021 in New York City. A prolific artist in the advertising space, Klein produced illustrations for Broadway shows, Hollywood movies and even the U.S. Army. Nonetheless, it’s his iconic travel ads for Trans World Airlines (TWA) during the 1960s Jet Age that he’s most renowned for.
According to Bloomberg, Klein’s ads for the former major airline during that time period created the notion among Americans that seeing the world meant flying TWA. Though the airline no longer exists, Klein’s work saw a revival in the beginning of this century, adding to the popularity and resale value of his work, after online travel agency Orbitz brought Klein out of retirement to create a campaign series featuring his original travel posters.
The poster gracing our cover was one of Klein’s most popular works (a copy of which appears in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in New York City) and is arguably symbolic now more than ever. With its vibrant, neon kaleidoscopic interpretation of buzzy Times Square, it depicts the electrifying city life, not to mention the excitement of travel, which so many of us are wistfully yearning for as we hit the one year anniversary of the COVID-19-induced lockdowns that changed life as we know it.