Artist turns WWI posters into calls for Americans to wear face masks, and the images are striking
By Darcy Schild
via the Insider web site
A series of retro illustrations offer a modern take on American propaganda posters from World War I — showing what the images might have looked like if they were made to promote mask-wearing to try to contain the novel coronavirus.
Clara Aranovich, a writer and filmmaker who has also worked as a period researcher for the TV series "Mad Men," is the brains behind the re-created posters, which have been shared thousands of times on Instagram since early July.
Aranovich told Insider her artwork was meant to inspire a sense of camaraderie in the same way many people united to support America's efforts in World War I, which included actions like rationing supplies to partaking in "meatless" and "wheatless" days.
Aranovich's idea for the art came in June, when the US reached a harrowing statistic. The number of Americans who had died from causes linked to the coronavirus surpassed the number of Americans who were killed in World War I.
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 116,516 Americans died in World War I, with 53,402 deaths occurring in battle and 63,114 fatalities occurring in other forms of service. At the time of writing, there were 142,350 COVID-19-related deaths in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker.
The posters Aranovich modified were originally distributed around 1917 and 1918, when the US became involved in World War I. She modernized them by overlaying face masks and editing the text to include calls for people to wear face coverings in public.
"I wanted to point to the repetition of history," Aranovich said. "I was inspired to contrast the pandemic with other major events that have united our country."
Read the entire article on the Insider web site.
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