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Art of War: World War II Propaganda . “A Arte da Guerra – Propaganda da II Guerra Mundial”. The exhibition (Dec 18, 2010 - Sep 30, 2011) showcased propaganda produced during the world conflict, through examples that show that the war was fought not only in the battlefield, but also in the background, as the people of the involved nations were mobilised in an active support of the war effort by the powerful images in the posters.

The printed poster was the main form of propaganda, especially since it was easy to produce and could be glued almost anywhere, so that the message was always present among the citizens, asking them to give more of themselves, produce more and sacrifice themselves for the sake of the war effort. The posters were also the most democratic way of reaching equally all kinds of people. In the United States alone, more than 3000 different posters were produced. The temporary exhibition showed propaganda under the light of an art form, which it has assumed, carrying the purpose of any other work of art: to raise emotions and change the world.

This poster was commissioned, for a WWII-themed issue of Fortune magazine, by Francis Brennan. An explanation for the series was printed on the back:

Preeminently America is an industrial nation and America's preeminent function in the war is as an arsenal of democracy. Yet America's capacity to produce is no stronger than the will of the men who work her mines and factories. What labor must realize is that in total war every citizen, whether in or out of uniform, is a combatant; that in the total kind of war the U.S. is fighting, a war of production labor's role is even more crucial than that of the armed forces.

Details

  • Title: America open your eyes!
  • Creator: Jean Carlu
  • Date Created: 1941
  • Location: Caramulo, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 35.6cm x 27.6cm
  • Provenance: Private Collection
  • Medium: Print

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