Pin It

A Time of Sacrifice 

click to enlarge Fight or Buy Liberty Bonds, Howard Chandler Christy, 1918, Lent by Thomas L. and Edward L. Pulling.
  • Fight or Buy Liberty Bonds, Howard Chandler Christy, 1918, Lent by Thomas L. and Edward L. Pulling.

It seems hard to imagine a time when Americans were required to sacrifice during wartime. For the past six years the US has been waging two costly foreign wars that have receded to the rear of public consciousness. The closest the president got to calling for Americans to do their part in the war effort was right after 9/11, when he exhorted us to not lose faith in the airline industry and to fly to Disney World.

It was not always thus. When America entered World War I in 1917, the bloodiest battle the world had ever known had been staining the fields of Europe for three years, and it was clear that engagement in the conflict would require great sacrifice—by the troops, in materiel, and on the home front. To assist in the propaganda effort to build support for the war, illustrated posters inspiring public support served as a primary mechanism of mass communication. These were the brainchild of celebrated illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, who chaired the Committee on Public Information’s Division of Pictorial Publicity. Gibson enlisted the greatest illustrators of his day, including J. C. Leyendecker, Joseph Pennell, James Montgomery Flagg, and Howard Chandler Christy to craft compelling visuals that would inspire the populace to support the troops and buy bonds to finance the war. (Back in the day, the government had to borrow directly from its citizens to fund military campaigns.)
“Over the Top: American Posters from World War I” will be exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, through January 25. (413) 298-4100;

Speaking of...

  • A show exhibiting WWI-era propaganda


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Field and Dream: Collaborative Concepts at Saunders Farm

    Over 70 artists from the Hudson Valley and beyond have assembled animal-friendly sculptures to complement the surrounding landscapes—grazing cows and horses are imagined to admire the pieces while they dine.
    • Sep 1, 2015
  • Dale Chihuly: Ulysses Cylinders

    An exhibition of early glass work by Dale Chihuly at Vassar College's Thompson Memorial Library.
    • Nov 1, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Visual Art

  • On The Cover: Gabriel Garcia Roman
  • On The Cover: Gabriel Garcia Roman

    "Visceral Notions" will feature work by Gabriel Garcia Roman through March 26 at the Center for Photography at Woodstock.
    • Mar 1, 2017
  • Andres Serrano Goes Back to School
  • Andres Serrano Goes Back to School

    The Andres Serrano retrospective at The School, the spectacular exhibition space established by Chelsea gallery owner Jack Shainman in Kinderhook, is a rare event.
    • Mar 1, 2017
  • Parting Shot: Matthew Pleva
  • Parting Shot: Matthew Pleva

    Kingston-based multimedia artist Matthew Pleva seeks inspiration from everything around him.
    • Mar 1, 2017
  • More »

Related to Visual Art

More by Brian K. Mahoney

Hudson Valley Tweets