Lincoln Cathers grew up in central New York. In his youth during World War II, Linc asked to be given the posters he saw on buildings in his hometown – items the library or post office usually discarded when new posters arrived. Ultimately, he rescued several hundred posters from the trash bin, and kept them for posterity. In 2001, Linc donated a significant portion of his collection to the Chapman Museum. As you look at these posters, please keep in mind that they are not pristine “collectibles.” Their stains, tattered edges and tack holes document the very real role they played in our history.
During World War II, the U.S. government, state agencies and corporations mass-produced home front posters, and distributed them throughout the country to build and maintain public support for the war effort. Created by artists recruited to the effort, they encouraged people at home to buy war bonds and to do their utmost to back up the troops abroad. They relied upon such common human emotions as fear, anger, love of family and patriotism to reinforce the messages they were intended to convey.