"Enlist / On Which Side of the Window are You?" Vintage WWI Poster by Laura Brey, 1917

This colorful and dynamic poster was created by artist Laura Brey in 1917. It urges that eligible men enlist in the WWI war effort.

Laura Brey (1889 or 1891-1980) was a teacher at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1917, she entered a contest to create an army and navy recruitment poster. The contest for propaganda posters was held from May to June 1917 and hosted by Captain Franklin R. Kenney, the head of army recruitment in northern Illinois. Laura Brey won $500 for her poster design and it was published by the National Printing and Engraving Company in Chicago.

Center in the composition, a young man in a suit watches rows of soldiers march past his window. "The window - a poster within the poster - separates the bright male world of waving flags and marching columns from the darkened interior feminine space . . . [exploiting] men's anxiety over their masculinity by suggesting the effeminacy of the man who does not enlist" (Paret p. 56). Bright yellow letters read "ENLIST" across the top portion of the poster. The question "On which side of the window are you?" is written in green and red lettering in the bottom quarter of the composition.

The poster has been elegantly framed in a gold and black frame according to the highest preservation standards.

Framed dimensions: 43.5" H x 30.5" W x 1.5" D




Related Items