Art of Persuasion
The American government, as well as various branches of the military, produced posters urging support of the war. American posters incorporated bright colors to catch the public’s eye and national symbols such as the Liberty Bell, the eagle, and the Statue of Liberty to evoke patriotic feelings. The posters often depicted attractive young women encouraging young men to enlist and asking all good Americans to buy war bonds, join the Red Cross, and sacrifice for the greater good.
In contrast to the American posters, the Library’s small collection of French posters primarily exhibits a more subdued color palette and a harsher view of wartime realities. These posters portray the physical hardship of war as represented by a lone soldier trudging across a cold, barren landscape to the warmth of a YMCA canteen; and displaced and starving Serbian civilians beseeching the public for help. Both the American and French posters have probably been in the Library’s collection since the war and many may have hung in the Library during the conflict.
August William Hutaf, Treat ‘Em Rough! Join the Tanks, (United States, ca. 1917). Color lithograph.
Haskell Coffin, Joan of Arc Saved France, (United States, ca. 1918). Color lithograph.
Devitt Welsh, They Give Their Lives, Do You Lend Your Savings?, (United States, ca. 1918). Color lithograph.
Sidney H. Riesenberg, Over the Top for You, (United States, ca. 1918). Color lithograph.
Ring It Again, Buy a United States Government Bond, (United States, 1917). Color lithograph.
Géo. Dorival, Les Foyers du Soldat- Union Franco-Américaine. Y.M.C.A. (Paris, 1918). Color lithograph. Gift of Mrs. Franklin S. Edmonds.
Mourgue, Journée Serbe, 25 Juin 1916 (Paris, 1916). Color lithograph. Gift of Mrs. Franklin S. Edmonds.