In my research on American life during the Great Depression, I stumbled on a number of websites containing hundreds of posters produced by artists under Works Progress Administration (WPA) sponsorship. I am posting some of the more interesting of these here. Do notice the various causes advocated and the points of view expressed. Such posters provide a window into the mindset of those who lived during this most difficult period in U. S. history. I was especially intrigued by the desire of many people to maintain some sense of culture (books, music, theatre, art), perhaps as an escape from the problems of daily life they were experiencing. Although no specific dates were provided for individual posters, the WPA operated between 1935 and 1943 when it was dismantled as World War II generated employment opportunities. Notice the concern (some would say paranoia) about divulging any information that might be construed as providing possible assistance to military adversaries. Many posters expressed similar sentiments.
I love 1930’s era posters. I found (and later posted in the Sorin Hall women’s restroom) a reprint of a poster from a major paper company–Scott, perhaps–warning about the association of unclean restrooms and Bolshevism. Apparently dirty cloth towels, prevalent in pre-WWII restrooms, turned workers against their employers and into the arms of the Reds. I can only assume that the ads went to the boardroom and not to the employee restrooms.