Propaganda is central to any war effort. In the early 20th century, the persuasion to head into battle came, in part, from art: The government recruited artists and illustrators to create propaganda materials. In a new exhibit, the Museum of the City of New York is showing how New York City-based artists and creatives working for the federal government’s Division of Pictorial Publicity helped sell World War I to the public.
Posters and Patriotism: Selling World War I in New York showcases a collection of more than 60 mass-produced propaganda posters from the era—some on display for the first time—that the railroad millionaire John W. Campbell donated to the museum in 1943. They make up just a small sample of the 20 million copies of approximately 2500 posters that the government distributed around the U.S.
Posters and Patriotism: Selling World War I in New York opens April 5.