This is an original WWI War Savings Stamp poster by the acclaimed artist Haskel Coffin, dating to 1917. The poster features a portrait of Joan of Arc, clad in full armor, with a sword raised above her body, ready for battle. At the top is yellow text reading “Joan of Arc Saved France.” Below is a white inset, with the black text “Women of America, Save Your Country, Buy War Saving Stamps.” Joan of Arc, as a idolized heroine who stepped up during wartime, was meant to encourage onlookers to mimic Joan of Arc’s bravery to lead their country to victory. During the war, over one billion dollars were raised by the sale of war savings bonds and war savings stamps, which were bought primarily by women and children. This poster played a part in raising money for the United States war effort by encouraging women to “do their part.”
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. Working Americans would buy war stamps in smaller denominations, to then trade in for war bonds, which at the end of the war would be repaid with interest.
Consequently, there was an outpouring of poster art on both the local and national levels for these loan programs, including this particular poster. Famous artists and illustrators were hired to design these attention-grabbing posters. Haskell Coffin (1878-1941) had a long and very successful career outside of war bond posters and was one of the most recognized artists of the time. He created works for publishers such as the Saturday Evening Post and The American Magazine. Coffin was known for his beautiful portrayals of American women, so much so that the women and models used in his illustrations were commonly referred to as “Coffin Girls.” This poster is no exception to Coffin’s classic style; the image of Joan of Arc is a striking woman, standing valiantly, while calling on U.S. citizens to help guide their country to victory.
Very good condition, considering age and past use. Color lithograph. Color is vibrant. The poster is linen backed, with conservation to previous chipping along outer margins. Framed to the highest archival standards, with acid-free mats and a custom-built wooden frame.
Dimensions: 41 3/4" H x 31 1/4" W x 2" D
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