New war propaganda poster exhibit opens at Air Force Museum

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – History and art collide in a new exhibit that opened today at the Wright Patt Air Force Museum. 

“Posters at Home and War” opened today and runs through May of 2020. The exhibit features more than 60 propaganda posters used in the U.S. from World War I through the Cold War.

The posters highlight four areas that were important themes used in the posters throughout history: home front, war bonds, recruitment and training.

Posters and advertisements were a commonly used method of messaging in the past. The posters on display not only display patriotic messages designed to drum up enthusiasm and patriotism, the posters also made very specific requests from citizens.

Highlighted throughout the gallery, one poster asks individuals to stay home for their vacation and not do any travelling so that they are not using unnecessary resources like gasoline.

Another section uses images of war-torn families to urge citizens into buying war bonds. 

To view images from the exhibit, check out the photo gallery below: 

“The nation needed a way to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to support the war effort,” said museum curator Christine Douglass. “Posters with straightforward messages and powerful imagery were used to heavily advertise war bond drives and to entice future service members.”

This is the first time these posters have been displayed as a feature exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, which maintains over 500 posters in its historical collection.

Some of the major pieces of the collection include the famous “Uncle Sam” recruitment poster “I Want You For The U.S. Army” by James Montgomery Flagg as well as a Norman Rockwell titled “There’s A Future For You…In Your Global U.S. Air Force.”

“They are still really relevant to people today,” said Douglass. “You see things you relate to and remember from your past. You find your own history in the posters.”

The exhibit is on display in the museum’s Hall of Honors until May of 2020. 

For hours and information, visit the museum’s website.

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