Item:
ONSV22NCS174

Original U.S. WWII Seafood Industry “Assets to Victory” War Production Poster - 20" x 27 ¾”

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely poster which features the beautiful artwork by Austrian born artist, Henry Koerner. Koerner is best known for his early Magical Realist works of the late 1940s and his portrait covers for Time magazine. This poster was issued by the Office of War Information and is designated as OWI Poster 61 in 1943. The poster was targeted at the fishing/seafood industry to inspire them to essentially work harder for the War Effort as a means to assist in the inevitable Allied Victory.

The poster depicts a scene of fishermen in their waterproof deck gear pulling up a full net of fish. The whole deck of their vessel is loaded down with fish and off in the distance on the left, a small US Naval destroyer can be seen.

The Message Printed On the Poster:

“AMERICA’S
FISHING FLEET AND MEN
…ASSETS TO VICTORY”

The condition of the poster is near excellent. The colors are faded slightly, but still easily discernible. There is minor wear present on the edges and the original fold marks made during the shipping and issuing process are still present. In order to mitigate the risk of separation in the fold marks, a previous owner added tape on the back as a means of reinforcement. Unfortunately as a consequence of adding the tape, the adhesive bled through and can now be seen as dark stripes on the front of the poster.

Above the “VICTORY” you can find the artist’s last name, KOERNER. Born in the Leopoldstadt District of Vienna to non-observant Jewish parents Leo Körner (1879–1942) and Feige ("Fanny") Dwora Körner née Mager (1887–1942), Koerner attended the Realgymnasium Vereinsgasse. Trained in graphic design at Vienna's Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (1934–36), he worked in the studio of Viktor Theodor Slama, designing posters and book jackets. Following Adolf H’s annexation of Austria in 1938, he fled via Italy (Milan and Venice) to the United States, settling in New York and in 1940 marrying Viennese-born Fritzi Apfel.

Employed as a commercial artist in Maxwell Bauer Studios in Manhattan, he achieved initial success as a poster artist, receiving first prize from the American Society of the Control of Cancer Poster Competition and two first prizes from the National War Poster Competition. In 1943, the Office of War Information hired Koerner in its Graphics Division in New York, where he worked alongside artists Ben Shahn, Bernard Perlin, and David Stone Martin. Shahn's pictorial style, along with the photography of Walker Evans and German Neue Sachlichkeit painters (e.g., Otto Dix), inspired Koerner's painting, which began with a rendering of his family home in Vienna (My Parents I, 1944).

Drafted into the U.S. Army, he was ordered in 1944 to the Graphics Division of the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., where he made war posters, including Save Waste Fats and Someone Talked, the latter winning an award from the Museum of Modern Art. Shipped to London, he documented, in pen and ink sketches and photographs, everyday life during wartime. After VE Day (8 May 1945), Koerner was reassigned to Germany, working in Wiesbaden and Berlin, and sketching defendants at the Nuremberg trials.

This is a wonderful poster, ready to be framed and displayed!

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