Poster Collection (Lawrence Public Library Special Collections)

There are about 600 items included in this collection.  The vast majority of the posters are printed on thick paper.  There were 3 Red Cross stiffened cardboard cut outs with stands attached on the back to hold them up.  One series of movie posters were in a book form.  The range in size was from the oversize of 4 x 5 feet to a few very small ones 9 x 12 inches.  The posters were opened up and foldered.  Most were put back into the map case.  A few oversize posters were sandwiched between two pieces of foam board and placed on top the map cases.  A number of smaller ones were foldered and placed in two newspaper boxes.  The years covered are from 1917 to the 1990s.  The vast majority of the posters are from World War I and II.

Many of the posters from the first and second world wars were made from original lithographs that were signed by the artist.  When artist information was available it was included in the contents list.

One of the artists is Joseph Christian Leyendecker.  Born in Germany in 1874, he lived in the United States from 1883.  He studied art in Chicago and Paris and became famous for his illustrations on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.  He created a number of lithographs for the United States Fuel Administration and the Third Liberty Loan that would become widely distributed posters during the First World War.  Mr. Leyendecker died in 1951.

James Montgomery Flagg was born in Westchester County, NY in 1877.  He was considered a child prodigy and was illustrating magazines at the age of 12.  He would later study art in New York and Paris.  He is responsible for the most famous war poster of all time.  It pictured Uncle Sam saying “I want you for the U.S. Army”.  He died in 1960.

Charles Buckles Falls was born in Indiana in 1874.  His works include advertising; cover illustrations, murals, and a series of historical portraits for the New York State Office in Albany.  His “Books Wanted” poster was created in twenty-four hours and was issued by the American Library Association.  He died in 1960.

Howard Chandler Christy was born in 1873 in Morgan County, Ohio in 1873.  He studied at the New York Academy of Design and the Art Students League.  The Christy Girls appeared as an illustration in “The Soldier’s Dream” Scribner’s Magazine at the time of the Spanish-American War.  His recruiting posters for the First World War utilized women as a dignified figure personifying country, liberty, or freedom. He died in 1952.

J. Allen St. John was born in Chicago in 1872 and studied in New York and Paris.  His bloody handprint was a very effective agent of anti-German propaganda.

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