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WWI American Posters Depicting Women

Article about: The Liberty Loan and War Savings Campaigns in the United States from May 1917 to May 1919 played a major role in financing the war effort through public subscriptions of savings bonds. The t

  1. #1

    Default WWI American Posters Depicting Women

    The Liberty Loan and War Savings Campaigns in the United States from May 1917 to May 1919 played a major role in financing the war effort through public subscriptions of savings bonds. The total raised was $24,002,111,400. Women played a large role in the campaigns and were featured in many of the Liberty Loan posters. There were four general categories for those posters; women as national symbols, women as war effort contributors, women as mothers, and women as victims. Below are some of the posters that were used in the loan and savings campaigns. All are from the official history of the campaigns, The Story of the Liberty Loans, published in 1919. Up first are posters depicting women as national symbols. The first three are by Howard Chandler Christy.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: WWI American Posters Depicting Women

    This one is by Haskell Coffin whose posters lacked the artistry and impact of those by Christy, which is illustrated by comparing the Christy below with this one. Of historical interest is that the Christy poster below was not well received by many Americans who felt it was too risque. Dwight


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  3. #3

    Default Re: WWI American Posters Depicting Women

    The category depicting Women as contributors to the war effort was even larger than depicting them as symbols of Americanism. The two artists whose works had the greatest impact were W. B. King and A. E. Foringer, whose posters are shown below.

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    This poater by W. B. King was one of the most powerful messages conveyed in Poster art during the war.
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    Together these two powerful posters brought home to the American public the fact that American women were directly involved in the war overseas. They were quickly followed by posters depicting women's contribution to the war effort as shown in the next group.

  4. #4

    Default Re: WWI American Posters Depicting Women

    These are excellent. I will draw my wife's attention to these as she is interested in the women's contribution to the war effort (mainly WW2) but I know she will like these as much as I do.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: WWI American Posters Depicting Women

    Two other organizations that sent women to France were the YWCA and the Salvation Army.
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    This poster is by Clarence F. Underwood


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    The Salvation Arny's women were called "Salvation Army Lassies" and they did in fact make donuts, which led me to compare them to the so-called "Donut Dollies" of the Vietnam War. The comparison is very similar. This poster is by G. M. Richards.

  6. #6

    Default Re: WWI American Posters Depicting Women

    As a category, motherhood received much less attention that the previous categories.

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    The catagorey received so little attention that the posters shown here are unsigned.

    Women as victims was also a very small category and the women in the posters were always depicted as Europeans, which surprised me because we had so many women serving with agencies in France. It seems to me it would have been natural to depict those women in peril which would have greater emotional impact on Americans and would have further elevated the women's status.

    These next two posters are typical of the women as victims category.
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    This poster is by Ellsworth Young

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    This is by Henry Raleigh

    If any of you have similar wartime posters from WWI or WWII, please post them so that we can compare how the various nations handled the way they depicted women in war. Dwight

  7. #7
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    Default Re: WWI American Posters Depicting Women

    Great thread.
    I love the posters.

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