Call to Action: American Posters in World War IFriday September 12, 2014 - Sunday December 7, 2014
The DAC gallery is now closed for the summer. This next exhibition will open in September 2014.
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 Flagg, Howard 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, often implicitly “white,” concept of American identity.