"Keep Him Flying! Buy War Bonds" Vintage WWII Poster by George Schreiber, 1943

This is an original color World War II propaganda poster, with the art completed by Georges Schreiber. The U.S. Government Printing Office published the poster in 1943. The poster depicts a fighter pilot preparing to get in his plane. The pilot fastens his harness and keeps an eye on the skies beyond him. The plane is painted with six kills, as indicated by the six rising sun Japanese flags pasted below the cockpit. The text “Keep him flying!” is printed in yellow over the plane’s body. “BUY WAR BONDS” is printed in large black block letters at the bottom.

Guns, tanks, and bombs were the principal weapons of World War II, but there were other, more subtle forms of warfare as well. Books, posters, and films waged a constant battle for the hearts and minds of the American citizenry just as surely as military weapons engaged the enemy. Persuading the American public became a wartime industry, almost as important as the manufacturing of bullets and planes. The government launched an aggressive propaganda campaign with clear strategies to galvanize public support and it recruited some of the nation's foremost intellectuals, artists, and filmmakers to wage the war on that front.

Part of that effort was the creation of War Bond posters. Bond posters called upon every man, woman, and child to endure the personal sacrifice and domestic adjustments to further the national war agenda. The posters were used primarily for financing the war effort, as they encouraged rationing, conservation, and sacrifice. They additionally championed recruitment and service enlistment, overall national productivity, and served as tools of motivation. Whereas early Liberty Loan posters of WWI used strong coercion, negative imagery, and fear-based wording, the War Bond posters of WWII indicated a shift in tone to the positive. These later WWII bond posters were designed to instill an optimistic outlook and a sense of patriotism and confidence. The posters directly linked the war in trenches with the Bond-buying effort at home.

Georges Schreiber (1904-1977) was a Belgian artist. He studied art at the German Real Gymnasium in Brussels (1913-1918), the Arts and Crafts School in Elberfeld, Germany (1920), and at the Academies of Fine Art in Berlin and in Dusseldorf (1922). Schreiber moved to New York in 1928 and became an American citizen in 1938. From 1936 to 1939, Schreiber made six long trips touring the United States, painting and sketching life from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from Maine to Oregon. He exhibited these paintings at Associated American Artists and sold all his paintings before the opening. Schreiber became a regular exhibitor at the annual and biennial exhibitions held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.

From 1941 to 1945, Schreiber was commissioned by the United States Army and Navy to do a series of works for the war effort. In 1943 he worked on joint effort with his friend Thomas Hart Benton to capture life aboard a submarine. Schreiber also painted the War Bond posters "Keep him Flying," "Back the Attack," and the fifth War Loan poster "Fire Away." In 1958, Schreiber joined the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York and in 1964 he was artist-in residence at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. This poster is an excellent example of Schreiber’s dynamic and colorful work.

CONDITION:

This poster, an original offset color lithograph, is in fine condition. All colors are original, still intact and vibrant. Minor folds. Printed by the U.S government printing office. Poster size: 39 ¾” H x 28 ⅝” W. 

This poster has been archivally framed in a custom-built black and gold wooden frame with acid-free backing and spacers. Framed Dimensions: 43 3/4”H x 32 1/4”W x 1 1/2”D. 




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