Posters Used to Boost Support for WWI Showcased in Exhibit at The Old Dome Meeting Hall
RIVERTON, UTAH — Dozens of promotional posters used to sell Liberty Bonds and boost American patriotism during World War I will be displayed at The Old Dome Meeting Hall in Riverton beginning Feb. 6 and running until Mar. 6.
The posters, part of a larger public relations effort to generate support at home for the war effort, used simple, emotional imagery and messages. The program also included movie reels, newspaper and magazine articles, pamphlets, exhibits, and public speeches, although the posters proved most effective.
Nearly 700 posters were created by some of the country’s top advertising illustrators and then distributed to states. The program was managed by the Committee of Public Information, which President Woodrow Wilson created following the entry of the U.S. into the war in 1917.
Both nationally and in Utah, the posters and other public outreach efforts had their desired impact. Thousands of Utahns enlisted in the military, Utahns purchased millions of dollars of Liberty Bonds, and the production of vital metals and agricultural goods was increased to meet the growing demands of a nation at war.
Through this exhibit, viewers can experience how an advertising campaign can stir patriotic feelings and unite people towards a common goal. They can analyze the similarities between soldiers of 100 years ago and today, contrast the depiction of American soldiers with enemy solders, and consider how the colors and wording effects them. They can also consider how these 100-year-old posters would work in today’s world.
This special exhibit is presented by Riverton City through the Utah Division of Arts & Museums Traveling Exhibition Program. The Old Dome Meeting Hall is open to the public on Monday-Wednesday, noon-5 p.m.
A special exhibit open house will be held on Feb. 12 from 6-9 p.m. at The Old Dome Meeting Hall at 1452 W 12600 S in Riverton, Utah. There is no cost for admission.