Picture This: World War I Posters and Visual Culture

Picture This: World War I Posters and Visual Culture

by Pearl James
     
 

The First World War was waged through the participation not just of soldiers but of men, women, and children on the home front. Mass-produced, full-color, large-format war posters were both a sign and an instrument of this historic shift in warfare. War posters celebrated, in both their form and content, the modernity of the conflict. They also reached an enormous

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Overview

The First World War was waged through the participation not just of soldiers but of men, women, and children on the home front. Mass-produced, full-color, large-format war posters were both a sign and an instrument of this historic shift in warfare. War posters celebrated, in both their form and content, the modernity of the conflict. They also reached an enormous international audience through their prominent display and continual reproduction in pamphlets and magazines in every combatant nation, uniting diverse populations as viewers of the same images, and bringing them closer, in an imaginary and powerful way, to the war.

Most war poster were aimed particularly at civilian populations. Posters nationalized, mobilized, and modernized those populations, thereby influencing how they viewed themselves and their activities. The home-front life-factory work, agricultural work, domestic work, the consumption and conservation of goods, as well as various forms of leisure-became, through the viewing of posters, emblematic of national identity and of each citizen's place within the collective effort to win the war. Essays by Jay Winter, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Jennifer D Keene, and others reveal the centrality of visual media, particularly the poster, during World War I. Ultimately, posters were not merely representations of popular understanding of the war, but instruments influencing the reach, meaning, and memory of the war in subtle and pervasive ways.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE

"This is a fine addition to the growing body of literature on this somewhat ephemeral form of graphic communication."—S. Skaggs, CHOICE

— S. Skaggs

Annals of Iowa

"Readers’ comprehension of World War I posters will be enriched well beyond their most thorough visual observations."—Barbara Steinson, Annals of Iowa

— Barbara Steinson

Journal of American History

"Historians of war, politics, gender, culture, art, and literature will all benefit from the insights presented here."—David Welky, Journal of American History

— David Welky

Journal of Military History

"Picture This is a powerful edited collection in which the whole adds up to a great deal more than the sum of its parts."—Karen Petrone, Journal of Military History

— Karen Petrone

CHOICE - S. Skaggs

"This is a fine addition to the growing body of literature on this somewhat ephemeral form of graphic communication."—S. Skaggs, CHOICE
Journal of American History - David Welky

"Historians of war, politics, gender, culture, art, and literature will all benefit from the insights presented here."—David Welky, Journal of American History
Annals of Iowa - Barbara Steinson

"Readers' comprehension of World War I posters will be enriched well beyond their most thorough visual observations."—Barbara Steinson, Annals of Iowa
Journal of Military History - Karen Petrone

"Picture This is a powerful edited collection in which the whole adds up to a great deal more than the sum of its parts."—Karen Petrone, Journal of Military History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803226951
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
02/29/2000
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author


Pearl James is an assistant professor of English at the University of Kentucky. 
 
Contributors: Meg Albrinck, Richard S. Fogarty, Stefan Goebel, Nicoletta F. Gullace, Pearl James, Jakub Kazecki, Jennifer D. Keene, John M. Kinder, Mark Levitch, Jason Lieblang, Andrew Nedd, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, and Jay Winter.

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