"Buy War Bonds" Vintage WWII Poster by Newell Convers Wyeth, 1942

Offered is an original World War II poster by Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945). The poster features bold lettering at bottom reading "Buy War Bonds," with a dynamic depiction of Uncle Sam leading a troop of soldiers. War planes fly above his head and large clouds surround him and the billowing American flag in his hand. The poster was produced by the U.S. Government Printing Office out of Washington D.C. in 1942. 

Uncle Sam has been a long standing symbol of American patriotism. His image has been used by the United States government in a number of different ways, from stamps and military recruiting posters to magazines and newspaper cartoons. The name came from a New York merchant named Sam Wilson, known by his friends as “Uncle Sam.” Wilson supplied beef to American troops during the War of 1812. The barrels were stamped with the initials U.S., for United States, but many associated the initials with “Uncle Sam” Wilson. Illustrations of Uncle Sam, typically with long, white hair and a white beard, dressed in top hat and a tail coat, began appearing shortly after the War of 1812. British cartoonists from Punch magazine were the first to fully develop the image of Uncle Sam as a tall, bearded, thin figure. American cartoonist Thomas Nast cemented the image of Uncle Sam in his own drawings during the 1870s. One of the most famous depictions of Uncle Sam during this period was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg for a U.S. Army "I Want You" recruiting poster during World War I.

This depiction of Uncle Sam by illustrator N.C. Wyeth utilized additional patriotic and symbolic  imagery to instill deep emotions among onlookers. The large, billowing American flag that is clutched by Uncle Sam offers a tangible representation of American liberty. Behind Uncle Sam is an ongoing scene of B17 planes and infantrymen, intended to convey the unending might of the American military.

Wyeth is considered one of America's greatest illustrators. He was the pupil of artist Howard Pyle and created over 3,000 paintings over his lifetime. He also illustrated many books, some of which were for Scribner's, which fueled his career. Wyeth worked primarily as a realist painter, and his illustrations were designed to be quickly understood. This poster design incorporated recognizable imagery that both encouraged onlookers to fight and stirred deep emotions among viewers.


Overall very good condition. Vivid colors. Paper is healthy, with minor edge wear. Original folds; slight wrinkling and minor wear along these folds. Poster Dimensions: 40” H x 29 ¾” W.

The poster is framed according to the highest conservation standards in a custom black wooden frame and UV plexiglas. Framed Dimensions: 42" H x 32" W x 3/4" D.

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