Presented is an original "If You Want to Fight! / Join the Marines" World War I poster by Howard Chandler Christy from 1915. This recruitment poster urges the public to join the Marines. The work features a stunning depiction of a woman dressed in a Marines uniform at center. This is the earliest and one of the rarest of the ‘Christy girl’ recruiting series posters, issued two years before the U.S. entered the war. The artist's signature is printed at lower right.
Christy played with the idea of switched gender roles, as shown here with a woman pictured in a traditionally masculine role. In 1918, 305 women were accepted into the Marines Corps Reserves for the first time to fill low-profile clerical jobs freeing men who qualified for active field service for duty in the trenches. This poster aimed to encourage men into joining the service.
Howard Chandler Christy (1872-1952) was an illustrator whose work appeared in countless magazines, books, and posters. Christy's subjects ranged from romantic interludes in high-society New York to historic battles on the Scottish Highlands. His female depictions became so well known that they were dubbed "the Christy Girl," whose lovely face and form graced magazine covers, sold Christy-style apparel, and convinced young men to join the Navy and Marines in World Wars I and II. He did most of his book illustrations from 1895 to 1920 but turned almost completely to painting portraits after 1921. His posters are some of the most famous and iconic of their time.
Overall good condition. Free of any significant tears. Some mildly visible fold lines and slight color losses along creases. The work has been framed according to the highest conservation standards in a custom black and gold frame.
Framed dimensions: 46.5" H x 36" W x 2" D.