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Calling Every Man, Woman and Child: American World War I Posters

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Poster: If You Want to Fight! - Join the Marines

1915
40 1/4 x 30 1/8 in. (102.2 x 76.5 cm)

Howard Chandler Christy
American (Morgan County, OH, 1873 - 1952, New York, NY)

Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Color lithograph
Credit Line: Found in collection and acquired through the New York Museum Property Act
Accession Number: 2022.19
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

The Christy Girl-- part goddess, part girl-next-door-- was a popular figure created by illustrator Howard Chandler Christy. In his war posters, the artist often used the Christy Girl, plus a heady dose of sex appeal, to convey the message "real men go to war."

In If You Want to Fight! a young woman plays "dress up" in Marine uniform. Her playful posturing enhances the masculine nature of war; while she wears her uniform to be fetching, the soldiers wear their uniforms to go to battle.

[Gallery label text, 2006]

Bibliography
For general references, see "War Poster Collections: Strong, Garrett, Taber, Fisk, Wright, Turnbull, McClenahan [and] Miscellaneous Collections," Princteon, NJ: Princeton University Library, 1919, cat. no. Misc BFA2277, p. 79; George Theofiles, "American Posters of World War I," New York: Dafran House Publishers, Inc., 1973, fig. 66, p. 62; Walton Rawls, “Wake up, America!: World War I and the American poster," New York : Abbeville Press, 1988, p. 249.

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World War I Posters Lesson Plan Lesson plan around MAG's collection of World War I posters


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