War posters (and more) online

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

I’ve been using this resource for a while in my teaching and been meaning to mention it here for some time. So the following message appearing in my inbox today gave me the prod I needed. This site is well worth checking out, not just for the war posters but for the other collections available online too.

There were few more powerful mediums for influencing pubic opinion in wartime Britain and abroad than posters. They were used, most famously, for recruitment – think Alfred Leete’s famous design of Lord Kitchener and James Montgomery Flagg’s ‘Uncle Sam’, but also for all kinds of propaganda in general, promoting an official viewpoint and justifying the need for wartime restrictions.

The Imperial War Museum has the largest and most comprehensive poster collection of its type in Britain, documenting the social, political, ethnic and cultural aspirations of warring nations from the First World War to more recent conflicts. The collection includes work by leading twentieth-century designers from Britain and abroad, and is an essential resource for looking at the development of mass communication, propaganda, publicity, commercial art and graphic design.

Over 3,000 posters from this internationally important collection are now available via AHDS Visual Arts. The digital images form part of the AHRC Posters of Conflict project carried out in partnership between the Imperial War Museum and the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University. The first two-years work of this three-year project are now available online, with more to come…

The Posters of Conflict collection complements other Imperial War Museum collections already available from AHDS Visual Arts including the Concise Art Collection and the Spanish Civil War Poster Collection.

AHDS Visual Arts now has over 60,000 high quality images freely available for use in research, learning and teaching.

visualarts.ahds.ac.uk

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