"Clear the Way !!" WWI Fourth Liberty Loan Poster by Howard Chandler Christy, 1919

Presented is an original Howard Chandler Christy poster from 1919 entitled "Clear the Way! Buy Bonds." The poster was produced as part of the Fourth Liberty Loan, in New York by Niagara Lithography. This is a half-sheet color lithograph with a female personification of America, called Columbia, above a naval gun crew in action. Columbia stands in front of a billowing American flag; below her, sailors load a torpedo into a canon aboard a ship.

A Liberty Bond was a war bond, issued and sold in the United States to support the Allied cause during the Great War. Each of the four Liberty Loan campaigns (two in 1917, two in 1918) and the Victory Loan campaign of early 1919 aimed for rapid subscription in the loan and bond programs, to generate quick funding of the war effort. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States and introduced the idea of financial securities to many citizens for the first time.

Consequently, there was an outpouring of poster art on both the local and national levels for these programs, including this particular poster. These propaganda posters appealed to the sense of patriotic duty and promoted the honorable cause. Images of children and women or strong soldiers, as well as fearful images of the enemy, were commonly employed to persuade citizens to ration their money and spend it on the war effort.

Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952) was an American artist renowned for his painted portraits. He worked during wartime to produce patriotic posters for the U.S. Marines and Navy. Christy was also known for his depictions of women on posters, which were often highly feminine and beautiful, yet many times defied gender norms and depicted the ideal "new woman." These female figures became known as "Christy Girls" and could be spotted on any number of World War I patriotic posters.

CONDITION:

Overall very good condition. Some scattered creases and folds. Bright coloring intact. Poster has been artfully and archivally presented in a custom-built black and gold wooden frame. Framed Dimensions: 23 1/4”H x 22”W x 1 1/4”D. 




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