French World War I Posters: A Loss of Innocence

France appreciated the value of posters to reach the public long before World War I, but in a playful sort of way. Used primarily to advertise entertainment, the French posters conveyed the vitality of the popular culture and proved their impact on the public.

When World War I broke out in 1914, the French quickly turned to posters to motivate and inspire its people to support the battle. As the war wore on, posters helped raise money to dress the wounds and supported the wounded. To ensure provisions for the war effort, the National Committee on Provisions and Economy ran a contest for schoolchildren, whose winning posters were published.

The Blair-Murrah collection of French World War I posters is a stunning portrayal of the appeals to the heart and pocketbooks of the people. Their vivid, stirring messages provide a touching monument to a world of innocence lost.