Patriotism, Persuasion, Propaganda

Margaret Carnegie Gallery: 22 February - 20 April 2008

Someone Talked
Fred Siebel, Someone Talked, 1942

Dramatic colours, patriotic fervour and the promise of adventure: wartime posters were an essential element in twentieth-century propaganda machines. Patriotism, Persuasion, Propaganda, featuring 31 posters from the Australian National Maritime Museum Collection, highlights America's strategic use of poster art in times of conflict, from World War l through to the present war on terrorism.

Skilfully designed and carefully aimed at key audiences, wartime posters employed the visual vibrancy and advertising panache developed by both fine art and commercial artists through the twentieth century. Paul Hundley, Senior Curator of the ANMM USA Gallery, says, "In the early twentieth century the Americans were still honing their marketing skills. By the time they entered the war, the big advertising agencies were in full flight and you can see the ad people's influence in the output of the Office of War Information."

These posters also act as important social documents, reflecting a hardening attitude as war progressed. Early in the conflict, recruitment posters showed strong, smiling service people heading off to the war to protect the people at home; later posters grimly appealed to the home front to safeguard classified information and protect soldiers at the front line. Vividly demonstrating that indiscretion could bring death and defeat, they emphasised the darker side of war.

An Australian National Maritime Museum Travelling Exhibition


When:     Friday 22 February 2008, 6:00 - 8:00pm
Where:   Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
Cost:       Free