Food is Ammunition: World War I Food Posters - Suffolk University's Adams Gallery Presents Compelling Publicity Images


BOSTON -- The poster was the most effective means of mass communication at the turn of the century, and the U.S. government published more than 20 million posters in support of World War I efforts. The Adams Gallery at Suffolk University Law School is presenting "Food is Ammunition: World War I Food Posters," an exhibit of more than 20 vivid World War I posters urging Americans to conserve food.

Herbert Hoover, head of the wartime United States Food Administration (USFA) said that food was "second only to military action" in winning the war. The USFA urged Americans to conserve food and plant "War Gardens" so that soldiers could be well fed and food shipments could be sent to war-torn Europe.

Drawing on the talents of volunteer artists who had previously produced illustrations for newspapers, magazines and book publishers, the government produced colorful posters that could be dramatic, stern or humorous. They were geared to a variety of audiences, including immigrants and children. Citizens could not escape them: They were hung in libraries, railway stations, trains, stores, factories, clubs, banks and schools.

Americans responded to the call, saving enough food to provide for soldiers and send millions of tons of food to Europe, making Hoover's prediction that "food will win the war" come true.

The "Food is Ammunition" exhibit is open to the public from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily from October 3, 2002 through January 10, 2003, at the Adams Gallery in Suffolk University Law School's Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., Boston.

The Adams Gallery is home to a permanent exhibit drawn from the papers of the late Congressman J. Joseph Moakley. It also presents exhibits on historical themes, thereby allowing Suffolk University to broaden its educational mission to the general public. The gallery's windows look out onto Tremont Street and the Freedom Trail in the historic heart of Boston, making it a natural site for exhibits of original materials or reproductions focused on the history of Boston and New England. The university also presents lectures and discussions related to the exhibits.

Mariellen Norris at 617-573-8450 or
Tony Ferullo at 617-573-8448

Food is Ammunition: World War I Food Posters
Organized by the National Heritage Museum, Lexington, Massachusetts

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