Sidney H. Riesenberg. U.S. Marines, Active Service on Land and Sea. United States, ca. 1917. Color photomechanical print.
When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson established the Committee on Public Information. The committee’s Division of Pictorial Publicity, led by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944), enlisted some of the finest artists of the day to create posters to support the war effort. These visually stunning works, easily reproduced through developments in offset and photomechanical printing, proved to be the most effective means of communicating the needs of the nation to the citizenry. They were used to sell war bonds, discourage food waste, and recruit participation on both the battlefield and the home front. The poster design shown here was used in cities across the country, always with the address of the local recruiting office added at the bottom.