Art + Flight

Museum Monday: Posters for Boeing’s canceled supersonic transport (SST) aircraft

They are easy to miss as you cross the pedestrian bridge connecting the main campus of Seattle’s sprawling Museum of Flight to the museum’s Space Gallery and Aviation Pavilion across the street.

But as part of the delightful Art+Flight exhibit currently underway at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, there is a display of charming motivational posters created for the Boeing Model 2707, a supersonic transport (SST) aircraft developed in the 1960s to compete with the British and French Concorde.

Boeing had a government contract to develop and build the supersonic airliner, but the contract was canceled in 1971 before the prototypes were even completed.

These posters are from the archives of the Museum of Flight, which says all it really knows about them is that they were made as motivational posters for employees working on the 2707 SST program during the 1960s. The colors and imagery clearly take influences from the pop art of the time. And the messages and slogans are all about making the plane as light as can be.

Images are courtesy of Seattle Museum of Flight’s Holden Withington Boeing SST Poster Collection and the Clarence S Howell Collection of Boeing SST Posters

Art + Flight at Seattle’s Museum of Flight

(Handpainted Mural by Joe Nix)

Seattle’s Museum of Flight is already well-known as the largest nonprofit air & space museum.

Now the sprawling aviation museum is making a bid for being well-known for commissioning and exhibiting art.

The Museum of Flight’s Art+Flight project, running through January 7, 2024, includes dozens of artworks in all mediums by over 30 artists.

Included are three newly commissioned murals and an installation drawn from the Museum’s own art collection.

Here are just a few pieces included in the show.

Aura (below), by RYAN! Feddersen depicts the scale of human-made space junk that orbits Earth.

Viewers are invited to try and spot 8 of the estimated 27,000-35,000 pieces of space junk currently being tracked. The list includes a camera, a glove, a pair of pliers, a spatula, a thermal blanket, a tool bag, a toothbrush, and a wrench.

Jeffrey Veregge mixes Native American traditions with contemporary techniques in his “Salish Geek” style. He has two pieces in the Juried Group Show: We Chose (Apollo Program), and Re-Entry (Space Shuttle Program).

These pieces, Valenci Four and Thorania, are by glass sculptor Rik Allen.

And Jhun Carpio’s Artemis SLS Rocket is made with wooden stirrers and toothpicks.

In addition to the works on display, the Museum of Flight’s Art + Flight project is hosting an artist-in-residence, and presenting arts programs, artist lectures, an interactive mural project, and plenty of other activities through January 7, 2024.

The Stuck at the Airport arts teams is heading to the exhibit this weekend, so stay tuned for more images from the show.

*All photos courtesy Museum of Flight