Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Artist:
H. C. Minor Lithography Company, 1896 - 1935  Search this
Sitter:
John Joseph Pershing, 13 Sep 1860 - 15 Jul 1948  Search this
Medium:
Color lithographic poster
Dimensions:
Image: 197.5 × 99.5cm (77 3/4 × 39 3/16")
Sheet: 200 × 104cm (78 3/4 × 40 15/16")
Mount: 201.3 × 106.2cm (79 1/4 × 41 13/16")
Board: 206.4 × 107.3cm (81 1/4 × 42 1/4")
Type:
Print
Date:
1918
Exhibition Label:
During World War I, posters seemed to promise a fast, efficient medium for communicating with the home front, and painters, cartoonists, and illustrators volunteered their artistic talents as a patriotic gesture. California artist K. M. Bara's You Are Wanted by U.S. Army recruiting poster depicted General John J. Pershing, the renowned commander of the American Expeditionary Force. Because of two famous advertising campaigns-Uncle Sam's "I Want You for the U.S. Army" and Lord Kitchener's "Your Country Needs You" in England-the pointing or outstretched hand became a frequent motif for poster propaganda during the war. In addition to that exhorting gesture, Bara used bold coloring and a lively composition of crossing diagonals with the upward-charging horse and the twisting figure. For those who missed the reference to a famous equestrian portrait-Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David-Pershing's recognizable figure was authoritative all on its own.
Topic:
Weapon\Gun\Rifle  Search this
Nature & Environment\Animal\Horse  Search this
Symbols & Motifs\Flag\National\United States  Search this
Poster  Search this
John Joseph Pershing: Male  Search this
John Joseph Pershing: Military\Army\Officer\General  Search this
John Joseph Pershing: Pulitzer Prize  Search this
John Joseph Pershing: Congressional Gold Medal  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.87.226
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.87.226