Work, Fight, Give! American Relief Posters of WWII
October 21 - December 19, 2022
This wide-ranging collection of original relief posters and memorabilia puts relief efforts at the forefront through an array of visually exciting poster art, poster stamps (known as “Cinderellas”), photographs, banners, and programs issued by the various relief agencies and by the National War Fund—an agency created by Franklin Roosevelt in early 1942 to consolidate the hundreds of relief agencies that sprang up to aid those countries and peoples devastated by war.
Many of America’s top artists and illustrators designed the relief posters, and they often employed historical, mythological, and cultural symbols representing various countries and cultures. From the regional sensibilities of Grant Wood, to the illustrative style of Arthur Szyk, to the painterly styles of James Montgomery Flagg and Martha Sawyers, the posters branded and differentiated various agencies all competing under the National War Fund name. In addition to the posters themselves, this exhibition offers context of the posters in action, through images of the artists, along with agency leaders, movie stars, well-known personalities, or simply volunteers proudly showing off their posters. Work, Fight, Give serves as a powerful reminder of the continuing need for philanthropy in a tumultuous world, and how the greatest generation met that challenge.
This exhibition was curated by Hal Wert, professor of history at Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, MO, and organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.
The public is invited to a free reception in conjunction with Misericordia University Family Weekend from 3:00pm – 4:30pm. Live music will be performed with Patrick Temple, Professor of Guitar at Misericordia University, and Wendy Hinton, vocalist.
This exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than twenty-five exhibitions on tour to over 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. These exhibitions create access to an array of arts and humanities experiences, nurture the understanding of diverse cultures and art forms, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. For more about ExhibitsUSA, email MoreArt@maaa.org or visit www.eusa.org.
About Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. We achieve this primarily through our national traveling exhibition programs, innovative leadership development, and strategic grant making. We are especially committed to enriching the cultural life of historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services. We believe in more art for more people. Additional information about M-AAA is available at www.maaa.org.