That Liberty Shall Not Perish From the Earth

That Liberty Shall Not Perish From the Earth, 1918

Joseph Pennell (American, 1857-1926)

Lithograph on paper

Miami University Art Museum purchase

Joseph Pennell was an Associate Chairman for the Pictorial Division of the Committee on Public Information. He came up with the idea for this poster on the train ride home from a meeting discussing the forthcoming competition for poster designs promoting the Fourth Liberty Loan. He was quoted as saying that the concept for his poster “must appeal to the people—the people gorged with comics, and stuffed with movies, and fattened on photographs.” Pennell’s imagery infers the calamity that Americans could face if they did not do their part to stop the German war machine from crossing the Atlantic. The Statue of Liberty symbolized freedom for so many citizens and recently arrived immigrants. Thus, portraying the potential destruction of that symbol was a tool meant to stir people into action on a personal level.

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