“The Art of War,” a collection of authentic World War II posters, is now on display at UNF’s Lufrano Gallery.
Tonight, the exhibit of 17 original posters, all from the private collection of Major General Gerry Maloney, will officially open with a reception and a lecture from Maloney himself on each piece.
Maloney, a retired 31-year veteran of the Air Force and Air Force Reserve, began collecting the posters as a young man in the midst of WWII. By the end of the conflict, he had collected 265 of them.
The posters were originally meant to inspire Americans during a time when much was uncertain. Messages such as “United we are strong, united we will win,” and “Give it your best!” kept Americans’ confidence high—not only their confidence in the war, but confidence that their sacrifices were for a greater cause.
“It was just a totally different time period,” said Chris Bender, program assistant for the Intercultural Center for PEACE at UNF. Each powerful poster does indeed highlight a difference between the time of WWII and today. Issues such as women in the workplace, “careless talk,” and rationing are all subjects of the decidedly unsubtle, yet highly symbolic artworks; issues that, when viewed through the frame of the WWII era, perhaps had a much different relevance than to us today.
Tonight’s reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Lufrano Gallery on the second floor of the Student Union East building. The exhibit will be on display through Aug. 16.