Patriotic Selections

WW2 Posters

At the start of World War II, artists were some of the first people called to duty. Again, posters were needed to summon the spiritual and material resources of countries at war. They were used to express anger, fear, grief and to assert the greatness of nations.

Guns, tanks, and bombs were the principal weapons of World War II, but there were other, more subtle, forms of warfare as well. Words, posters, and films waged a constant battle for the hearts and minds of the American citizenry just as surely as military weapons engaged the enemy. Persuading the American public became a wartime industry, almost as important as the manufacturing of bullets and planes. The Government launched an aggressive propaganda campaign to galvanize public support, and some of the nation's foremost intellectuals, artists, and filmmakers became warriors on that front.

In the U.S., propaganda posters rallied citizens against fascism as in other allied countries. In 1942, the Artists for Victory were assembled to produce posters promoting democracy and national strength. Topics included War Bonds, industrial production, recruitment and rationing. Similar posters were used by England and other countries.