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Poster: If You Want to Fight! - Join the Marines
40 1/4 x 30 1/8 in. (102.2 x 76.5 cm)
Howard Chandler Christy
(Morgan County, OH, 1873 - 1952, New York, NY)
Medium and Support:
Found in collection and acquired through the New York Museum Property Act
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]
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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