20TH CENTURY MOVEMENTS

PUBLISHER
MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8.5 x 9.5 in. / 320 pgs / 380 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Forthcoming

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 31   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780878467631 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $57.50

AVAILABILITY
Awaiting stock
Available for preorder

BOOKSELLER TRADE ANNOTATION

A colorful gift book for history buffs: 350 striking political propaganda postcards from 1890-1945
  • Uncle Sam orders Americans to enlist. A socialist worker raises the red flag. Adoring crowds greet Hitler and Mussolini.
  • Perfect for accounts that have done well with the MFA Boston's The Postcard Age and bought in the new MFA title, Atget: Postcards of a Lost Paris
  • The collector, Leonard Lauder is the former President of Estee Lauder, a prominent art collector, and patron of the Whitney, the Getty, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Portland Museum of Art, Gibbes Museum, and MFA Boston.
  • Hunter College Connection: two authors teach at Hunter: Lynda Klich and Anna Jozefacka. Benjamin Weiss is a curator at MFA, Boston, and the author of the MFA Boston titles Atget: Postcards of a Lost Paris and The Postcard Age.

Persuasion on a postcard: propaganda from all sides of the 20th century's world wars

  

MFA PUBLICATIONS, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON

The Propaganda Front

Postcards from the Era of World Wars

Text by Anna Jozefacka, Lynda Klich, Juliana Kreinik, Benjamin Weiss.

Featured image is reproduced from 'The Propaganda Front.'

Persuasion on a postcard: propaganda from all sides of the 20th century's world wars

A socialist worker raises the red flag. Adoring crowds greet Hitler and Mussolini. Uncle Sam orders Americans to enlist. In the first half of the 20th century, these images and many more circulated by the millions on postcards intended to change minds and inspire actions. Whether produced by government propaganda bureaus, opportunistic publishers, aid organizations or resistance movements, postcards conveyed their messages with striking graphics, pithy slogans and biting caricatures—all in a uniquely personal form.

The more than 350 cards reproduced in full color in this book advocate for political causes and celebrate war efforts on all sides of the major conflicts of their time. The accompanying text shows how a ubiquitous form of communication served increasingly sophisticated campaigns in an age of propaganda, and highlights the postcards collected here as both priceless historical documents and masterworks of graphic design.


Featured image is reproduced from 'The Propaganda Front.'

The Propaganda Front

$45.00


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by November 15, 2017.

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FROM THE BOOK
Excerpt: Invasion on Land and War in the Air

At the start of World War I, German propaganda relied heavily on representations of military triumphs — both real and imagined — as well as correlating images of its enemies’ defeat. As the German army began its campaign through Belgium into France, artists frequently personified the national military force as prodigious in size and power, and its adversaries as comparatively diminutive. Even as plans for a quick victory and invasion of Paris faltered in the fall and winter of 1914, German propaganda cards lampooned the French with a series of images that suggested that the Eiffel Tower, and by extension, the national capital, were easy prey. Artists portrayed this potent symbol of modern French identity and technological innovation as toylike — being carried away as a tourist souvenir or being scaled by a giant German soldier wearing the imperial-era spiked helmet known as a Pickelhaube. In some cards, German warplanes are shown dropping bombs on the tower, although ultimately the air campaigns directed at Paris were largely unsuccessful, and ground troops advancing toward the capital were stalemated. The Germans never captured Paris during World War I.

Despite the German flyers’ failure to triumph over Paris, aerial combat did become a reality during World War I. Rapid advances in aeronautic technology led to a shift in the deployment of newly invented aircraft from reconnaissance efforts and the distribution of propaganda to machine-gunning and dogfights, as well as increasingly effective aerial bombardments. Aviators became the military elite, and the exploits of pilots such as Manfred von Richthofen (better known as the Red Baron) inspired patriotic hero worship. Although airplanes came to dominate aerial warfare, the most feared German flying machine during the early years of the war was the Zeppelin (a class of dirigible named for its developer, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin). In the first year of the war, attacks on Warsaw, Liège, Antwerp, and Paris intro- duced the strategy of using Zeppelins to bomb cities, making the airships a frequent propaganda topic.

German citizens celebrated the Zeppelin for its potential to overcome the legendary strength of the British navy and defeat the naval blockade of German ports, to destroy British arsenals, and, by bringing war to the home front, to undermine the morale of the British people — all themes taken up in propaganda. Postcards reinforced the Zeppelin’s ability to instill fear in the British, whose population had already been primed for the airship’s fearsome potential by pre- war sightings and by popular science fiction such as H.G. Wells’s The War in the Air, published in 1908. During the war, the German military launched more than fifty Zeppelin attacks on England, including twelve on London alone. Postcards depicted the panic induced by these bombardments in caricatures of British soldiers, afloat on tiny boats, cowering under umbrellas.

— Lynda Klich and Juliana Kreinik

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