A new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York features rarely seen propaganda art commissioned by the U.S. government during World War I.
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.
1. "ENLIST" BY FRED SPEAR, 1915
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2. "JEWISH WELFARE BOARD" BY JOSEF FOSHKO, C. 1917
3. "I WANT YOU FOR U.S. ARMY" BY JAMES MONTGOMERY FLAGG, C. 1917
4. "CLEAR THE WAY!!" BY HOWARD CHANDLER CHRISTY, C. 1917
5. "TO-DAY BUY THAT LIBERTY BOND" BY UNKNOWN ARTIST, C. 1917
6. “PER LA LIBERAZIONE SOTTOSCRIVETE! (FOR LIBERATION SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONAL LOAN!)” BY ACHILLE MAUZAN, 1918
7. “REMEMBER! THE FLAG OF LIBERTY SUPPORT IT!” BY HEYWOOD, STRASSER & VOIGHT LITHO CO. (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1918
8. “LEST WE PERISH” BY ETHEL FRANKLIN BETTS BAINS, 1917-18
9. “TREAT 'EM ROUGH” BY AUGUST WILLIAM HUTAF, C. 1918
10. “HELP THE RED CROSS” BY HERMAN ROEG, 1918
11. “FOR EVERY FIGHTER A WOMAN WORKER” BY ADOLPH TREIDLER, C. 1918
12. “EVERY GIRL PULLING FOR VICTORY” BY EDWARD PENFIELD, 1918
Posters and Patriotism: Selling World War I in New York opens April 5.