"Navy Day October 27th" Poster by Matt Murphey, 1940

Offered is an original U.S. Navy propaganda poster advertising "Navy Day." Below a large image of a U.S. battleship is block text reading "Navy Day, October 27th." The poster dates to 1940, shortly before the American entry into World War II. The poster highlights an impressive depiction of a column of U.S. battleships within a red border with small white anchors. The printed signature of U.S. Navy artist Matt Murphey appears at the bottom right of the image, while the bottom edge of the poster bears the printing line: "NRB - 27919 - 8-5-40 - 18M." Each of the ships depicted in the image appear to feature cage masts, indicating that the artist was working from a reference image taken prior to the modernization of the U.S. battleship force in the late 1920s to the early 1930s.

The first “Navy Day “ was celebrated on October 27, 1922. October 27, 1922 was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy, as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27, 1922 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy.

Matthew Murphey (1898-1943) was an artist best known for his Navy poster designs produced around the early 20th century. Murphey joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 18, just before the U.S. entry into WWI. While serving in the Navy, Murphey's artistic talent was recognized and utilized: he was soon transferred to the National Headquarters of the Navy Bureau of Recruitment in New York City, where he created multiple propaganda posters. From 1941-1942, Murphey was commissioned to provide illustrations for magazine issues, including Popular Science and Our Navy Magazine, just before his untimely death in the line of duty. 


Overall very good condition. Shows some light, scattered foxing at edges away from the image, with small folds overall. Framed according to the highest conservation standards.

Framed dimensions: 41 1/2" H x 31 1/2" W x 1 1/2" D.

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