With over 115 posters in the its holdings, the WWI Poster Collection represents a wide variety of images used for propaganda purposes during the First World War.
Ellsworth Young's poster
The Wilson government's Division of Pictorial Publicity of the Committee on Public Information employed over 300 of the most prominent illustrators of the time to help propaganda efforts. Among them were artists such as C. B. Falls, E. H. Blashfield, Joseph Pennell, Howard Chandler Christy ("Fight or Buy Bonds"; see below), Joseph Leyendecker, Jessie Willcox Smith and L. N . Britton. Our Collection includes posters of these and other famous artists. These posters cover a variety of themes--from the role of women to liberty loan drives, and from resource conservation to the Red Cross. Many of the poster artists were also prominent as magazine illustrators, etchers, lithographers and writers. Joseph Pennell, for instance, was noted for his architectural drawings and his cover illustrations for Harper's Magazine.
Joseph Pennell's famous
poster portraying |
New York City under seige is now tragically relevant.
This striking poster went through two million prints.
It was so popular that Pennell even wrote a book on it.
He described the image as,
"New York City bombed, shot down,
burning, blown up by an enemy".
The breadth and variety of the posters in Collection make it extremely valuable as an introduction to the political, social, economic and graphic art trends during the First World War in the United States.
For more information about WWI Posters refer to the following sources:
Borkan, Gary A. World War I Posters. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publications, 2002.
Nudelman, Edward D. Jessie Willcox Smith : A Bibliography. Gretna, La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 1989.
Paret, Peter, et al. Persuasive Images : Posters of War and Revolution from the Hoover Institution Archives. Princeton, NJ : Princeton University, 1992.
Pennell, Joseph. Liberty Loan Poster: A Textbook for Artists and Amateurs, Governments and Teachers and Printers. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1918.
Rawls, Walton.Wake Up, America! World War I
and the American Poster.New York: Abbeville Press, 1988.
Reed, Walt. The Illustrator in America, 1880-1980 : A Century of Illustration. New York: Madison Square Press,1984.
Reed, Walt. The Illustrator in America, 1900-1960's. New York: Reinhold Pub. Corp., 1967.
Theofiles, George. American Posters of World War I : A Price and Collector's Guide. New York: Dafran House, 1973.
by Raj Dasgupta 12/12/01