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The Impact

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of American posters is the way they reflect, magnify, and even alter American culture. Posters mix art and commercial interests; they communicate phrases and can depict the various forms of advocacy that form our unique history. No matter how graphically striking posters are, it is their content—the reminders of past events, the glamour of film stars, the need to fight wars—that captures our attention.

Using the posters as a starting point, this section explores the actual events that inspired artists to create the images that have become graphic icons for the ideas and occasions they commemorate.