Joan of Arc saved France – Women of America, save your country
Designed to instill patriotism, confidence, and a positive outlook, War Posters were used extensively during WWI & WWII to assist the military and persuade all Americans to help with the war effort.
The poster “Joan of Arc,” by Haskell Coffin (1878-1941), was commissioned by the United States Treasury Department to urge people to buy war savings stamps. Stamps were low-priced and could be pasted into a booklet that when filled was traded for a war bond.
The religious image and the intent of the poster is clear; just as God intervened through Joan to save France centuries before, He would, with America’s help, again help His people triumph in France.
Like Joan of Arc, the name of General Lafayette, the French hero of the Revolutionary War, was also often invoked to arouse American sympathy for the plight of France during the First World War. For example, two popular songs of the period were “Joan of Arc, They are Calling You” and “Lafayette, We Are Here!”
Two Versions of the poster with Sarah Bernhardt as Jeanne d’Arc. Created in 1899 by Eugene Grasset. This is one of the plates from the Masters of the Poster series, which consists of 256 small format lithographic plates of the best posters of the Belle Epoque.
These collectible miniatures were painstakingly produced four per month from 1895 to 1900 by no less than the father of the poster, Jules Cheret, in conjunction with his printer Chaix.
The Maitres series was the outgrowth of the international poster craze of the 1890s, when the new advertising medium transformed the boulevards of Paris and other major cities into the “art gallery of the street.” Posters by Cheret, Livemont, Lautrec, Mucha and others became widely collected, and Cheret realized that many collectors would enjoy a portfolio of the best posters from around the world that could be admired in a smaller, more practical format.