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Susan Talbot-Stanaway – The Great Paper War
February 10, 2018 @ 2:00 pm
In 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson needed a means to inform the public about the war effort. He established the Committee on Public Information and its subsidiary, Division of Pictorial Publicity. Working under the Committee, famed American illustrators such as Charles Dana Gibson, James Montgomery Flagg, and Ohio’s own Howard Chandler Christy created paintings that were made into more than 700 different posters. Hundreds of thousands of these dramatic works of art were hung in Post Offices and other public buildings, in store windows, in schools and papered across fences. They were intended to encourage Americans to support the war effort wholeheartedly. Enlistment, mobilization of industry, Liberty Loan sales, and other patriotic duties were poster objectives. The story of these posters describes the first, largest, and most successful advertising campaign in history.