Lend the Way They Fight. Buy Bonds to Your Utmost


This World War I poster, showing an American infantryman hurling a hand grenade at German soldiers in a trench, invokes the image of Americans in combat on the Western front in France to urge citizens at home to purchase bonds to finance the war. The United States government issued bonds, also called Liberty Bonds, in 1917 and 1918, raising a total of $21.5 billion for the war effort. Many of the bonds were bought by banks and financial institutions as investments, but a massive public relations campaign was mounted to urge individuals to make purchases as well. The poster is by Edmund M. Ashe (1867–1941), a painter, illustrator, and art teacher known for his expressive and realistic paintings of factories and the world of manufacturing and labor. Born in New York City, Ashe was one of the exhibitors at the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York. Known as the Armory Show, the exhibition introduced modern art to the American public and encouraged American artists to develop their own identities, independent of European models and influence.

Last updated: February 10, 2014