BLUE HILL, Maine — Blue Hill residents Larry Flood and Tyler Knowles will exhibit selected pieces from their collection of World War I posters at the Blue Hill Public Library during July. Included are posters from the United States and Europe, for the purposes of recruitment and raising of funds from the sale of Liberty bonds and their European equivalents. The posters were an effective way to get the message out in that period of history when there was no television or radio. As with other periods in American history back to Colonial times, posters or “broadsides” were the most effective way besides the newspaper to advertise to large numbers of people.
The images portrayed on the posters are propagandistic, designed to evoke emotion and action. One particularly powerful image shows a mother with a baby in her arms, underwater—intended to bring to mind the ocean liner Lusitania that had been torpedoed and sunk by German U-boats.
Larry Flood inherited much of the collection from his father. His grandfather acquired American posters as they were issued during World War I for Larry’s father, who as a boy was confined to home during this time due to illness. When Larry’s grandmother died, he and his father rediscovered the hundreds of posters rolled up in her attic. Larry flattened them and had them conserved by a document specialist. Larry has enjoyed researching and learning about the posters and has added significantly to the collection over the years, particularly posters produced in Europe and even one from Russia.
With such a large collection, it was difficult to find sufficient wall space to display the posters but between their two houses in Blue Hill and outside of Boston Larry and Tyler have been able to hang as many as fifty of their posters for friends and family to enjoy. They now look forward to sharing them with a wider audience through this upcoming exhibition.
The public is invited to an opening reception at the Library on July 5th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. For more information contact the Library at 374-5515.