Over There and Here: Posters from the Great War

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The exhibit showcases posters commissioned and circulated during World War I by the Committee on Public Information. Worried that U.S. citizens were not mindful of the fact that the country was at war, posters were commissioned from the famous American Society of Illustrators. While young men were in the trenches and war-time documents announced that "all of our women are knitting," a call to arms was issued to America's illustrators, "every man and woman pace forward-the nation in smocks!" A similar effort was mounted in the European nations, though the War was close at hand. The posters shown in this exhibition are drawn from the University of Chicago Library's poster collection, which numbers 1,000 pieces and includes posters from both World Wars. The collection represents the efforts of several nations including the United States, England, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and other Western and Eastern European nations. Most of the World War I posters were acquired during or immediately after the War. They have come from a variety of sources including the sponsoring government agencies and charitable organizations, and most notably, from Arthur P. Scott (1884-1961), Professor of Modern History at the University from 1913 to 1949.