TWA Chicago David Klein In-Flight Menu Art 1970s
Chicago, in the heart of mid-America, was a major stop on the around the world routes of TWA’s Ambassador service.
This menu image of the city’s famous Water Tower was created by influential American artist David Klein. The great fire of 1871 decimated every building in Chicago, except the Water Tower and its adjacent pumping station, the in-flight menu noted.
Both buildings are still nestled among the myriad skyscrapers built on the landfill that is today called Chicago’s Gold Coast.
Klein produced posters for Broadway theatre productions, Hollywood films, the US Army and various corporate clients including TWA.
Born in El Paso, Texas, in 1918, he moved to California to study at the Art Centre School in Los Angeles ( later renamed the Art Center College of Design).
His extraordinary talent was perhaps most evident in his work between 1955 to 1965 for the so-called ‘Jet Age’ when commercial air travel became more accessible to ordinary folks.
Klein designed numerous award-winning travel posters for TWA – his TWA Times Square poster is on permanent display in the city’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).
He was also a prominent member of the California Watercolor Society and created this delicate and beautiful series of images for a ‘Great Cities of The World’ series. The renderings were presented to passengers on various flight segments and could be taken home and framed.
Klein, one of America’s pre-eminent commercial illustrators, died in 2005.
This TWA image is one of several in our collection.
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a major American airline that existed from 1930 until 2001. It was formed as Transcontinental & Western Air to operate a route from New York City to Los Angeles via St. Louis, Kansas City, and other stops, with Ford Trimotors. With American, United, and Eastern, it was one of the "Big Four" domestic airlines in the United States.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.