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US War Bonds poster

Object | Accession Number: 2014.407.1

US War Bond poster designed by Lawrence Beall Smith in 1942, soon after America's entry into World War II in December 1941. It features three young children, apprehensive and fearful, as they are surrounded by the arm of a large, dark shadow of a swastika. It was distributed by the US Treasury to encourage people to buy war bonds, debt securities or loans to the government bought at 75% of their face value and redeemable after ten years. This poster was the first of a long series of War Bond posters sponsored by Abbott Laboratories. Abbott initiated an agreement with the government to sponsor the creation of an art collection that would support and record the war effort at home and on the battlefield. Another of their key projects was documenting the work of the Army Medical Corps, but their aim was to be comprehensive. Smith was one of more than two dozen established artists sponsored by Abbott and hosted by the War Department who went into battle as combat artists. In 1943, Smith spent three months on an aircraft carrier in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean doing works on naval aviation. He was sent to England to document the Medical Corps work there. He volunteered to stay beyond his tour in order to witness the Normandy invasion in June 1944. His painting of an exhausted young medic, The Man Without a Gun, is considered one of the most powerful works of combat art ever produced.

Artwork Title
Don't Let That Shadow Touch Them / Buy War Bonds
1942  (publication/distribution)
manufacture : Washington (D.C.)
War propaganda
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2019-02-11 07:01:07
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