.All Trips / Massachusetts / North America / Northeastern USA

Over There! A look at World War I through Poster Art

IMG_3314 By L.A. Schaffer

While visiting Boston this past spring I encountered intense wintery weather that made me focus most of my free time on indoor activities, rather than strolling through the interesting streets of this historic city.  I enjoyed these days and visited some wonderful sites that I hope to share with you in the coming months.

A highlight was a fascinating day spent at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, a large yet “manageable” collection.  Among the many excellent displays at the museum was a temporary exhibit of World War I art.  Propaganda pieces really, mostly from the USA but also from Europe and Russia, many beautifully crafted, some quite familiar.

It’s been a century since World War I — among the bloodiest of wars — devastated Europe; my awareness of this anniversary further piqued my curiosity.  The posters captured the sentiments of the world at a time when national patriotism really meant something.   The artists very much played to people’s sense of patriotism, likely to great effect.  Whether to enlist in the army and serve King or country, or to change what you eat every day, I don’t think these posters would have much impact on today’s tech savvy (and more cynical) generations, and maybe that’s for the better.

It was interesting for me to study and think about these images.  Thought I’d share some of this exhibit with you:


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