Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Political Posters as Art

As we enter into an election year, political ad campaigns run rampant. You can’t turn on the TV or listen to the radio without hearing some election buzz. In the spirit of things, here are two propaganda posters from World War II that have been memorialized.

This poster was created in 1939 and displayed during World War II in an attempt to raise the morale of British citizens. Many people feared invasion by German armies, and the “Keep Calm and Carry On” logo was designed to inspire a sense of trust in the government. The poster was lost for 61 years, only being rediscovered in 2000. Since then, it has been reproduced on everything from T-shirts to coffee mugs and planners. GMOA even uses a version of it in a sign we put up in the lobby while setting up for events!

Designed and produced in 1942 by artist J. Howard Miller, Rosie the Riveter encouraged women to become involved in the war effort. Many women worked in factories producing weapons, munitions and other war materials.

When it was first produced, this image was known as the “We Can Do It!” poster rather than Rosie the Riveter. The poster was rediscovered in the early 1980s. It was renamed “Rosie the Riveter” based on a popular song of the same name written by Redd Evans in 1942. The poster has since become an image of women’s empowerment and feminism. 

Although these images were originally intended as propaganda pieces, they have become internationally known works of art. Images of popular culture can often transform into art when they comment on important contemporary social issues. The Georgia Museum of Art currently displays a number of works relating to political and social issues, including many in the Marilyn Overstreet Nalley Galleries in particular.


Paul said...

Great Post, my wife has the 'Keep Calm, Carry on' poster in her study for those moments when work is getting too ,much. And being a History Teacher she loves the propaganda imagery too.

Kayla Murphy said...

It is a great poster! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! If you ever have a suggestion for a post feel free to email me at