Notes From the Catalogue: WWII Propaganda Posters

Swann’s August 7 auction of Vintage Posters features an array of wartime propaganda from both the American home front and abroad. The selection of American posters from the Second World War showcases some of the cultural icons associated with American patriotism and ingenuity, culminating in a mid-century sense of optimism and pride.

Adolph Treidler, She’s a WOW/Woman Ordnance Worker, 1942. Estimate $600 to $900

An eerie depiction of school children in gas masks, issued by the Kroger chain of grocery stores, is a precursor to the Cold War paranoia that would dominate the politics of the 1950s.

 

Dear God Keep Them Safe!/Buy War Bonds and Stamps, 1942. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000. 



Jean Carlu’s early WWII poster Give ’em Both Barrels stirred patriotism in the factory as well as on the front lines. Carlu, a Frenchman, designed in the Art Deco and Cubist styles. His other famed poster for the U.S. War Department America’s Answer, Production was designed a year later in 1942. 

Jean Carlu, Give’Em Both Barrels, 1941. Estimate $1,500 to $2,000.



The Tuskegee Airmen came to symbolize the struggles and triumphs minorities faced in WWII. This pilot’s stance evokes a quiet strength that inspires reverence in the viewer.  

Keep us flying!/Buy War Bonds, 1943. Estimate $1,500 to $2,000.