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Olin & Uris Libraries

Olin: Open until Midnight
Uris: Closed

Fields Foreign & Familiar

Along with heroic iconography, artists often relied on landscape imagery to inspire nationalistic pride. Connecting agrarian tradition with peace, they offered idyllic scenes of farming in stark contrast to the war-scarred European battlefields with their ominous barbed wire and endless trenches. In one instance, an uncredited German recruitment poster asks young men to enlist as the best way to protect rural traditions. In another, the Hungarian artist Pal Sujan’s design for a fundraising exhibition in Pozsony (now known by its Slovakian name, Bratislava) recalls Van Gogh’s wheatfields literally and stylistically, which he has set jarringly against the mechanical arm that a veteran must use to harvest wheat. The illustrator and graphic designer Edward Penfield similarly used agricultural imagery. Penfield’s design was commissioned by the United States Food Administration (under the direction of Herbert Hoover) to persuade Americans to conserve wheat and preserve the U.S. food supply for military efforts.

  • Edward Penfield. Will You Help the Women of France? Save Wheat! United States Food Administration, 1918. World War I Broadside Collection. Courtesy of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
  • Pal Sujan. Landes-Kriegsfürsorge-Ausstellung [National War Relief Exhibition]. Pozsony (i.e., Bratislava, Slovakia): Angermayer Károly Müintézete, 1917.
  • Wollt ihr dieses? … Schützt Euer Land [Is This What You Want?… Protect Your Country]. N.p., 1914-1918.
  • Fritz Erler. Helft uns siegen! Zeirhnet die Kriegsunleihe [Help Us Conquer! Subscribe to the War Loan], 1917.