War Bonds

Doing All You Can, Brother?

In advertising its war bonds, the Treasury banished the kinds of violent images sometimes used in other types of World War II posters. Gordon Aymar, a member of the government’s “Art Pool,” later remembered: “Strange as it may seem...[the Treasury’s representatives] stated that the American public did not like to face the fact that their bond money was going to kill Japs. As an example of this, posters showing bloody scenes of an American bayoneting a Jap soldier didn’t get anywhere. On the other hand American soldiers in danger of being bayoneted by Japs apparently did the trick.”

 

Our Good Earth... Keep it Ours

With Regionalist artist John Steuart Curry’s iconic Our Good Earth (1940) as its centerpiece, this second poster expresses an almost religious belief in American heartland values. Curry's hero-farmer holds three stalks of grain in his hand, while defiantly staring into the wind. The poster, instructing the viewer to “...keep it ours,” links the land to American values and patriotic duty. 

Even A Little Can Help a lot - Now

Many of the government’s posters were designed by commercial artists who came from the country’s advertising industry. Their work often translated the message of sacrifice and struggle into the familiar advertising world of smiling faces and loving households. Posters like this last one called on women and children to do their part to help fund the war effort.