Our August 2 auction of Vintage Posters will feature an exceptionally wide array of World War I imagery, honoring the centennial anniversary of the U.S.’s entry into the fray. More than 100 propaganda posters from the period will be offered, with rarities by Howard Chandler Christy and James Montgomery Flagg.
Lot 124: Howard Chandler Christy, Gee!! I Wish I Were A Man, 1918. Estimate $1,500 to $2,000.
“There were certainly propaganda posters before 1917, but the organization and mass distribution of World War I posters distinguished them from previous printings,” says David H. Mihaly, the Jay T. Last Curator of Graphic Arts and Social History at the Huntington Library, who organized an exhibition on the subject in 2014.
Lot 115: Laura Brey, Enlist / On Which Side of the Window Are You?, 1917. Estimate $1,000 to $1,500.
According to the Library of Congress, “During World War I, the impact of the poster as a means of communication was greater than at any other time during history. The ability of posters to inspire, inform, and persuade combined with vibrant design trends in many of the participating countries to produce thousands of interesting visual works.”
Lot 125: Joseph C. Leyendecker, America Calls / Enlist in the Navy, 1917. Estimate $2,000 to $3,000.
From Smithsonian Magazine: “Posters—which were so well designed and illustrated that people collected and displayed them in fine art galleries—possessed both visual appeal and ease of reproduction. They could be pasted on the sides of buildings, put in the windows of homes, tacked up in workplaces, and resized to appear above cable car windows and in magazines. And they could easily be reprinted in a variety of languages.
Lot 141: James Montgomery Flagg, I Want You for U.S. Army, 1917. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.
The government enlisted the help of the Society of Illustrators in a concentrated effort to create galvanizing posters to rouse the American people into action, leading to one of the most iconic images in the American collective conscious: James Montgomery Flagg’s I Want You for U.S. Army, 1917. Uncle Sam points directly at the viewer as a challenge to join the fight, inspiring legions of Americans to fight for their country.
Lot 142: James Montgomery Flagg, Wake Up, America! / Civilization Calls, 1917. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.
Combined with World War II propaganda from both sides of the Atlantic, this will be the largest selection of war posters we have ever offered.
Lot 143: James Montgomery Flagg, Wake Up America Day, 1917. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.