War Posters

War Posters WW1 & WW2

When the U.S. was drawn into the war in 1917, the government quickly formed a committee to educate everybody why they were in the war and what it would take to win it. The illustrators Charles Gibson, James M. Flagg, C.B. Falls, Jack Sheridan, and others met at Keens Chop House in New York and agreed to do what they could. Leyendecker and Christy soon joined the clique to contribute as well. Over the course of the next several years, they did many, many war posters for free. The posters encouraged Americans to band together and gave messages on how to win the war. They sold bonds, they helped educate on security, health, and rationing. They did whatever was necessary to help bring the boys back home. The posters, which  embodied MacManus’ style,  sold war to youths with ads like “Enlist”, which elegantly painted a mother holding her beloved baby to her breast, enveloped by the cold green sea. No other copy was needed to know this powerful poster referred to the thousands of civilians who drowned when a German U-boat sank the Lusitania in 1915. The stir of the deepest emotions — a mother’s love for her baby — sold the most violent act, war.

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