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  Thumbnail larger image Flagg, James Montgomery
American, 1877–1960

I Want You for U.S. Army (about 1917)
39 7/8 x 29 7/8 inches
Color lithograph
Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Director's Discretionary Fund
1976.2

Currently not on display
 

James M. Flagg

American, 1877–1960

 

I Want You for U.S. Army, about 1917

Color lithograph

Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Director's Discretionary Fund

1976.2

 

At the turn of the century, large scale posters were painted for use both as advertisement and as propaganda. This work titled “I Want You” by the noted illustrator James Montgomery Flagg, is perhaps the best-known poster ever produced in America and certainly one of the most effective propagandizing posters of all times. Flagg used his own face as the model for Uncle Sam here, but the powerful extended right hand pointing outward toward us derives from a British poster by Alfred Leete published several years earlier in London.

 

A poster is successful to the extent it attracts and thereafter holds attention. This work was one of the most successful and although designed for World War I recruitment, the image was revived and re-issued as a process printed poster at the opening of World War II.

 
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