A new exhibition titled “The Art of War: American Poster Art 1941-1945” opens this Saturday, April 21 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park. The show spotlights more than 150 colorful World War II posters drawn from the Library’s enormous collection of more than 3,000 wartime posters, covering an array of topics that vividly illustrate the wide-ranging impact that World War II had on American society.
Among the talented illustrators and graphic artists who created these posters for government agencies were Norman Rockwell, James Montgomery Flagg, N. C. Wyeth, Ben Shahn, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Stevan Dohanos, Herbert Matter and Leo Lionni. The exhibit will relate the stories behind some of the best-known posters, such as J. Howard Miller’s famous “We Can Do It!” image of Rosie the Riveter, Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” posters and Flagg’s enduring image of Uncle Sam proclaiming “I Want You.” Other special displays will explore how poster designers depicted the enemy; how their work reflected conflicting ideas about the changing roles of women; how African Americans were represented; and how the image and words of President Roosevelt became incorporated into memorable wartime posters.
Also this Saturday at the FDR Library complex, the Henry A. Wallace Center will host the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District’s sixth annual Hudson Valley History Reading Festival, featuring authors of recently published books on the region’s history. Scheduled book talks and signings include David Schuyler, author of Embattled River: The Hudson and Modern American Environmentalism, at 10 a.m.; David Rocco, with The Indestructible Man: The True Story of World War II Hero “Captain Dixie,” at 11 a.m.; Glenn Kreisberg’s Spirits in Stone: The Secrets of Megalithic America – Decoding the Ancient Cultural Stone Landscapes of the Northeast, at 1 p.m.; and Andrew K. Amelinckx, Hudson Valley Murder & Mayhem, at 2 p.m.
Copies of the authors’ books will be for sale in the New Deal Store located in the Wallace Center. This is a free public event, but registration at www.fdrlibrary.org is required. To find out more about these events, call (845) 486-7745. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum are located at 4079 Albany Post Road (Route 9) in Hyde Park.