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Patriotic posters from the US and Europe

Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI, this exhibition features fifty wartime posters from the United States and Europe—including select examples from Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. Many of the works were used to encourage enlistment in the US Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Service, while others appeal to the American citizenry to buy war bonds, conserve food, support the Red Cross and other relief agencies, and maintain a strong work ethic on the home front. This exhibition is the first time since 1938 that many of these works will be on view, and marks the MFA’s first display of the newly acquired poster I Want You for U. S. Army (1917) by James Montgomery Flagg.

Above: James Montgomery Flagg, I Want You for U. S. Army (detail), 1917. Poster, color lithograph. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston—Henry S. Hacker exchange, made possible through gifts from John T. Spaulding, J. N. Stanley, Horatio Greenough Curtis, Mrs. E. Vietor Frothingham, L. N. Gebhard, Jean Goriany, Dr. Henry M. Putnam, Walter Rowlands, R. Clipston Sturgis, Horace M. Swope, Miss Frances Ellis Turner, bequest of Maxim Karolik, and anonymous gift in memory of John G. Pierce, Sr.

This poster was the most famous of all images from WWI, and one of the most successful recruitment posters of the war. Flagg modeled the famous image of Uncle Sam after his own features.


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