The Air and Space Museum will be the setting for the exhibition “The Roaring Twenties of Aviation, Aeronautics at the Heart of Modernity 1919-1939”, an exhibition which will be held from October 24, 2023 to March 3 2024 at Le Bourget.
The Roaring Twenties…
The Air and Space Museum will be the setting for the exhibition “The Roaring Twenties of Aviation, Aeronautics at the Heart of Modernity 1919-1939”, an exhibition which will be held from October 24, 2023 to March 3 2024 at Le Bourget. This exhibition, organized by co-curators Clémence Raynaud and Julie Ulloa, highlights the preponderant role of aeronautics from the Roaring Twenties – that is to say the period following the First World War – to the threshold of Second World War. Predominant, even at the forefront of evolution and modernity. Let us remember that this period notably saw the birth of commercial aviation, but also the great raids associated with the conquest of the world… But not only that.
…A rich period for aeronautics
Because the exhibition addresses areas which until then had been little or not addressed, in other words the place of aviation in the society of the Roaring Twenties, the influence of aeronautics on the arts – notably posters , cinema -, the portrait of aviators between trials and heroism -Hélène Boucher, Mermoz or even Nungesser and Coli -, the art of traveling -Pan Am or closer to us Imperial Airways, without forgetting the Latécoère airlines -, aviation as a symbol of power -Italo Balbo’s raid- and finally, the threat linked to militarization -remilitarization across the Rhine and the emergence of the Luftwaffe-.
…But also arts inspired by aviation
But perhaps the real plus of this exhibition is to explain how aeronautics participated in shaping a new world, by breaking with pre-war artistic traditions. Because aviation, let us remember again, is evolution and modernity, the use or employment of resistant materials – the single-spar in aluminum alloy used by Émile Dewoitine on a wing made of the same alloy – and on aerodynamics – the essential Marcel Riffard and his racing Caudrons -. What is not known is that the progress made in aircraft design converged with the concerns of a certain number of architects and designers who founded, in 1929, the Union of Modern Artists (UAM). Among the initiators of this movement are creators with a proven interest in aeronautics, such as Robert Mallet-Stevens, Le Corbusier, Marcel Lods, and Jean Prouvé.
The birth of air transport
The time has not yet come for mass air transport, travel and the art of traveling are still reserved for a (very) small population who have the necessary means to pay for their ticket. But it is also a period where the transport plane goes from the old, uncomfortable and noisy converted bomber – Farman Goliath or the Bréguet XIV – to the airliner, with increasingly attentive care given to comfort. passengers. Let us cite the legendary Douglas DC-3 and its French equivalent, the MB.220 as well as the Languedoc, which although put into service after the war was designed in 1939.
The emancipation of women before 1968
Finally – and the themes of this exhibition are more numerous and this is what makes it so rich – it is also a period of women’s emancipation. And aviation will allow some of them to become famous. Hélène Boucher previously mentioned, but also Adrienne Bolland – who crossed the Andes in 1921 – the two Maryse – Bastié and Hilsz to name but a few. Another field in which aeronautics was a pioneer, well before the movements or similar that followed… Many years later. All in all, an exhibition that we can only encourage you to visit.