Back in the early days of the museum, we received numerous donations of posters from steamship companies, recruiting stations, the shipyard, etc. We would put one or two of these into the collection and the rest have been sitting around since. We still have a pile that was never completely cataloged and from time to time (when we have a spare moment) we go through it to see what should be added to the collection and what is duplicate material. I was moving the pile the other day and came across two beautiful WWI posters that are now going to be added to the collection.
This first poster is from 1917 and was done by artist Henry Reuterdahl (1871-1925), who was born in Malmo, Sweden and emigrated to the United States as a boy. In 1917 he became a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve Force (hence his signature followed by USNRF). This seems to be one of his most famous pieces and is quite interesting. It shows an American sailor embracing one from Britain. To the American’s left are sailors from Japan and France, and to the right from Russia and Italy.
This second poster is my favorite of the two, although they are both equally excellent! The bright colors, joviality of the sailors, and elephant make for quite an intriguing scene. This one was published in 1919 and done by artist James H. Daughtery (1889-1974). Besides creating illustrations for military posters, Daughtery also wrote and illustrated several books for children.
Both of these posters are exquisite and I’m glad to see them joining the collection!