Saturday, December 7, 2013

Print of the Day: "Going Ashore?" c. 1940

Going Ashore?
Chromolithograph, c. 1940
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Since today is Pearl Harbor Day, I thought we'd look at a few WWII related things.

This World War II propaganda poster was printed in English, Greek, French, Dutch and Norwegian. Like most such posters, it warned against careless talk—not just from the military, but also by civilians. The idea, and quite a correct one, was that you never knew who was listening and how the most innocent comment or data could be used against the cause.

I like these posters quite a lot because they are, often, graphically stunning and wholly demonstrative of their era. Many relied on shadowy, fearsome images of stylized spies and looming danger. But, often, they used bright and humorous images to make their point.

This one is especially charming. “Going Ashore?” our parrot friend asks us. He reminds us that even the most unthreatening individual could be working for the other side. After all, he’s wearing a Nazi officer’s cap.

Lousy Nazi Parrots!

The copy reminds us to “
keep what you know to yourself.” Not a bad idea even when not threatened by Nazi parrots.

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