Liberty Shall Poster
Liberty Shall Poster
Liberty Shall Poster

Liberty Shall Poster

  • Poster in metal frame
  • 20 X 28 inches
  • $20 flat fee shipping
  • Artist Joseph Pennell (1857-1926)

  • In 1917, when the United States entered the Great War, a national propaganda campaign was started to convince Americans to support the war effort. In this watercolor sketch for a Liberty Bonds poster, Joseph Pennell used fear to make his case. He paints Lady Liberty decapitated, with her torch lying in wreckage, and New York City engulfed in flames. (In reality, the fighting in World War I never touched U.S. soil.)

  • During World War I, many branches of the federal government used posters to urge Americans to support the war effort. In a time without radio, TV, or the Internet, posters were an inexpensive way to deliver powerful messages to millions of people. The government hired well-known artists to create designs that unified the American people. Posters continued to be published during World War II, and new posters are still in production. The National Archives holds close to 20,000 posters produced by military and civilian agencies.