Alonzo Earl Foringer’s Greatest Mother in the World: The New Jersey Roots of the Most Famous Poster of World War I

Nicholas P. Ciotola

Abstract


Despite renewed interest in the illustrated posters of World War I brought about by the commemoration of the war’s centennial, few extant works in either the academic or public history sectors offer comprehensive explorations of individual posters. This article provides a microhistory of The Greatest Mother in the World (1918), an impactful lithographic poster designed by New Jersey muralist Alonzo Earl Foringer and inspired by a slogan from a Princeton graduate turned advertising executive named Courtland Smith. Printed and distributed in the millions, Foringer’s poster reached a level of mass appeal unsurpassed by any other piece of American visual propaganda produced in the war years. A detailed look at the background and impact of this important poster explores a lesser-known and understudied aspect of World War I history, while also affording an interdisciplinary research model that can be utilized for future studies of additional posters and their place in American visual culture.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14713/njs.v3i2.88

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. All authors retain copyright.