Call to Action: American Posters in World War I

EFCF9585-C730-4290-9FC3-4F79284E4849From Virgil Taylor ’15:

Opening reception: Thursday, September 11, 5:00–7:00 pm

Gallery talk by Clare Rogan, DAC Curator, and Rebecca Wilton ’15, at
5:30 pm

Following the declaration of war in Europe in August 1914, each of the rival powers adopted extensive advertising campaigns to recruit soldiers, encourage women factory workers, and raise the money essential for this new, “total” war. Dramatic posters soon covered train stations, city squares, and stores, exhorting passers-by to new levels of patriotism and self-sacrifice.

After the United States entered the war in April 1917, Charles Dana Gibson founded the Division of Pictorial Publicity to organize American illustrators for war posters. Selected from the collection of the Davison Art Center, this exhibition includes more than thirty American World War I posters designed by James Montgomery FlaggHoward Chandler Christy, and others. These posters recruited soldiers, celebrated shipbuilding, called for women war workers, and urged homemakers to prepare alternative foods so wheat could be shipped to the army and allies overseas. With vibrant colors and dramatic strokes, the designers reinforced ideals of masculinity and femininity, as well the integration of immigrants into a unified concept of American identity.

The exhibition was co-curated by Clare Rogan, DAC Curator, and Rebecca Wilton ’15.

Image: John E. Sheridan (American, 1880-1948), Rivets Are Bayonets: Drive Them Home, 1917, lithographic poster. Davison Art Center collection (photo: R. J. Phil).

Date: Thursday, Sept. 11
Time: 5-7 PM
Place: Davison Art Center
Cost: FREE

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