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Original U.S. Pre-WWI United States Marine Corps “Soldiers of the Sea” Recruitment Poster Featuring Artwork By German Born Illustrator JC Leyendecker - 40” x 30”

Regular price $550.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. As was common for many branches of the military before the outbreak of World War I, the U.S. Marines' tactic for attracting new recruits focused on the more exciting aspects of military life like those pictured in this poster, such as engaging in low-risk skirmishes during the "Banana Wars," comradery, learning new skills, and the opportunity to visit exotic locales.

During the Spanish–American War (1898), Marines would lead U.S. forces ashore in the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, demonstrating their readiness for deployment. Between 1900 and 1916, the Marine Corps continued its record of participation in foreign expeditions, especially in the Caribbean and Central and South America, which included Panama, Cuba, Veracruz, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and Nicaragua.

In World War I, battle-tested, veteran Marines served a central role in the United States' entry into the conflict.

In August of 1918, the World War was at its height and American patriotism had reached a peak as well. Recruiting posters and posters to encourage people to buy war bonds seemed to be everywhere. Tables set up on street corners to recruit men for the service were common.

Since the turn of the 20th century, America has used famous artists, slogans and various psychological appeals to find recruits for military service. The Marines, historically an all-volunteer service, had been the most adept at using the poster as a successful recruiting tool. As the country edged towards war, many of these artist volunteered their services to the Marine Corps’ recruiting effort.

As early as 1915, a volunteer group of artists was formed in New York under the direction of a small patriotic-minded council. The War Department had organized the group to produce posters to recruit men for service as the buildup for war heightened. The council matched requests from the War Department's Division of Pictorial Publicity with available artists.

Once a preliminary sketch was complete, it was sent from New York back to Washington, D.C., for final approval. For the Marine Corps, these requests for artwork originated at the U.S. Marine Corps Publicity Bureau, now established in Washington. Artists who provided artwork included such established artists as James Montgomery Flagg, Howard Chandler Christy and J. C. Leyendecker, Charles Buckles Falls and Bruce Moore.

The poster is in lovely condition but does have fraying present along the edges. The colors and artwork are still vibrant and beautiful. The center features the famous “Soldiers of the Sea” painting which was done by Joseph Christian Leyendecker. Joseph Christian Leyendecker was one of the most prominent and financially successful freelance commercial artists in the U.S. He was active between 1895 and 1951 producing drawings and paintings for hundreds of posters, books, advertisements, and magazine covers and stories. He is best known for his 80 covers for Collier's Weekly, 322 covers for The Saturday Evening Post, and advertising illustrations for B. Kuppenheimer men's clothing and Arrow brand shirts and detachable collars. He was one of the few known gay artists working in the early-twentieth century U.S.

This would be a wonderful addition to any Marine Corps collection. Comes ready to be framed and displayed.

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