Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 January 2021
In the United States during the First World War, an assortment of fine artists, commercial illustrators, government-funded propagandists, and other professional image-makers devoted their talents to picturing and prosecuting the war abroad. Among these were acclaimed artists such as George Bellows, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, and Paul Strand. Also engaged in visual commentary on the war were scores of poster designers whose names were far less recognizable but whose imagery was far more widely seen. Art that was meant to inspire enlistment and bolster morale—or, in some cases, buck the tide and resist militarization—became an essential aspect of total war in the new age of mechanical reproduction and modern mass communication.