Monday, August 10, 2015

French Posters from World War I

While working with the federal documents, I came across a CD titled “French Posters from World War I” with a call number of LC 1.54: P 84/CD.  This CD introduces “the war poster as a powerful instrument of war propaganda wielded in France during the First World War. By the time France declared war on Germany on August 2, 1914, color lithography had provided the means to paper the streets with images and messages that posters could carry so well.”  There are 284 posters in this CD.

The posters consist of many subject matters including: collecting money for the war, ones about or for women, national symbols including victory shown as a woman with wings and Marianne a French icon.  Marianne is a symbol of the Republic of France representing liberty, egalitarianism and fraternity.  She is a proud and determined woman wearing a Phrygian cap, also known as a liberty cap which is often red.   The posters provided French artists a way to create emotionally moving images, raising funds, support the men in the trenches, promote support for colonial soldiers, and provide support for the orphans and wounded. World War I lasted from August 1, 1914-November 11, 1918. 

Naomi Allen
Reference Department