January 2014 - June 2015
Browsing Room, Musselman Library
In Musselman Library’s Browsing Room are nine examples of the full-color poster art that inspired and mobilized the American and European civilian populations during World War I. On loan from the collection of Lynda and Lawrence Taylor, these original posters range from recruiting appeals to war relief. The YWCA poster is signed by the artist and is one of the first to portray women as “workers”. The center poster is rare because of the designer Lt. Gen. Sir R. S. S. Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout Movement. And the recruiting poster on the right features a woman (popularly known as a “Christy girl”) that was created by artist Howard Chandler Christy. This poster was designed to appeal to young men as it was inconceivable that a woman could be in the Marines in 1917!
“Posters always fascinated me at several levels of interest; for their historical insights into a different time and different ways of thinking; for their artistic dimensions and here WWI posters I think are the most dramatic and graphically excellent of any war period posters, and for their messaging, the colors, images and words are all meant to influence behaviors in a past cultural environment. Also the process of collecting them, finding them in the first place, in a non-eBay world, can be an exciting experience with many interesting characters to meet.”