Keep ’em smiling!

Title Keep ’em smiling!
Creator M. Leone Bracker
Date 1918
Format 42 x 27 in
Description M. Leone Bracker was a well-known American artist and advertising illustrator, and in this 1918 poster for the United War Work Campaign, Bracker depicts a warm embrace between three white, male service members with the message “keep ’em smiling!” WWI propaganda artists were given a great deal of artistic freedom, which is why so many posters deploy different artistic techniques and persuasive messages. In this particular poster, Bracker demonstrates his preference for using crayon on paper, which results in a bold, almost photographic image of three men looking at the viewer with infectious smiles. The United War Work Campaign was a specific fundraising initiative organized by seven non-profit organizations to raise $170,000,000 between November 11 and November 18, 1918. These dates are noteworthy because they show that the campaign officially began on the day that WWI ended with the signing of the Armistice agreement; however, fundraising did continue after the war. One of those non-profit organizations involved in the campaign was the War Camp Community Service, an organization that was especially dedicated to providing soldiers with entertainment. Like all of the partnering organizations of the United War Work Campaign, the War Camp Community Service believed that the morale of soldiers had as much of an impact on victory as food and bullets.
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