Government Printing Office, 1944.
Poster. Color lithograph. Measures 27 3/4" x 19 7/8"
This original World War II-era poster was part of an anti-inflation campaign initiated by the Office of Price Administration, designed to encourage American citizens to support the war effort. During the previous world war, the US experienced an inflation rate of 62%. When WWII began, President Roosevelt established the OPA to prevent price-gouging and unfair access to consumer goods. The effort was considered successful, with inflation between 1940 and 1944 rising only 28%.
The woman wears a red and white striped blouse, contrasted against a blue background with stars evoking the American flag. Her hair is coiffed and she wears makeup as well as a white ruffled apron over her blouse. In this way, the poster demonstrates how women could contribute to the war effort without sacrificing their femininity, a somewhat mixed signal that speaks to cultural dynamics in the United States in the 1940s. A smaller graphic overlays the poster, reading "Produce and Conserve / Share and Play Square / Food Fights for Freedom." In very good condition, with some wear to margins and along original fold lines. A closed tear to left margin has been professionally repaired. Some cracks and chips to lower margin. The poster is otherwise clean and vibrant.
Illustrator: Fred Cooper