War through Art

Wonder Women of U.S. War Posters

If you enjoy your summer superhero movies, then you will most likely check out the new Wonder Woman movie, released in U.S. theaters on June 2nd. The movie is set during the “Great War,” but did you know women were regularly featured on U.S. World War I and World War II propaganda posters and leaflets?

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To the Skies! – Aerial Propaganda Posters of WWI

April 6, 2017 marked the 100 year anniversary of the United States entering the “Great War,” as a belligerent in the conflict.  Commercial advertising was already well developed in the U.S. during the time, and an organized campaign to shape public opinion was therefore a natural development – spearheaded by Woodrow Wilson himself.

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WPA Posters: Coming to a Stamp Near You

The United States Postal Service unveiled a new collection of commemorative stamps featuring the iconic Works Progress Administration (WPA) posters.  The ceremony took place at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.

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Horsing Around – Depictions of horses in propaganda posters

Domesticated horses have been an important component to warfare for well over 5,000 years.  Heavy and light cavalry units as well as chariot and other mobilized wagons have played an important role in organized military campaigns across the world.

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Making Fun of Hitler

Even prior to the war turning in the favor of the Allies, Hitler and the Nazi regime were depicted in an often humorous fashion in the U.S. and Britain.  Hitler in particular was heavily ridiculed and depicted as a bloodthirsty tyrant, hell bent on the destruction of Europe and the rest of the world.

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When a teenage Fidel Castro wrote to FDR

Scouring through the National Archives digital collection you might come across a few choice items from time to time.  Take, for example, this letter, dated November 6, 1940.

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Presidential Mustaches in Movember History

No-Shave-November is in full swing across the United States.  For those of you wondering why your significant other has been trying to grow either a magnificent face squirrel, full beard, or lame, spotty attempt at either, it’s all for charity!  The month-long campaign (sometimes known as #Movember) is used to raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, or suicide. You can find out more about the campaign here.

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Axey Dent – Proper work procedure posters

It’s no secret that the U.S government encouraged both agricultural and industrial production during World War II in an effort to support the war effort abroad and ignite the economy at home.

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“Save Fats, Kill Rats!” – Salvaging Fats for the War Cause


One of the most common themes with U.S. military and civilian posters during the Second World War involves rationing and salvaging.  The military routinely encouraged conservation on the civilian front.  This took many forms, with the victory garden being perhaps the most emblematic.  But it wasn’t just fresh home grown vegetables that did their part to defeat the Axis.

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