Clear The Way! Buy Bonds

World War I Liberty Bond PosterHoward Chandler Christy (1873-1952) was an American illustrator and the creator of this World War I Liberty Bond poster. Christy, like his contemporary Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944), became well-known for his depictions of women. Gibson Girls represented the beautiful and independent American woman at the turn of the 20th century. Christy Girls were a “picturesque and romantic type of society women.”

Christy had been a combat artist during the Spanish-American War. His work in the series “Men of the Army and Navy” was instrumental in promoting Christy to national prominence as an artist.

I found this World War I poster a wonderful blending of Christy’s work as a combat artist with his more romantic style that would become part of the Christy Girl style. We have a beautiful young women, most likely Christy’s interpretation of Columbia, wrapped in an American Flag. She is rising from the waves as if protecting or clearing the way for the American war ship pictured below her. Columns of water rise from the water’s surface where one can assume previous rounds landed.

On board ship, we have a number of sailors hard at work, manning a tail gun. Their muscles bulge and strain as they load and position the gun to fire at an unseen enemy.

The contrast between the young woman, clothed only in what appears to be underclothes and the partially clothed hard-bodied men is striking. The World War I Liberty Bond poster encourages supporting the troops by participating in the Fourth Liberty Loan.

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