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Original American Poster for Fortune Magazine -America Open Your Eyes by Jean Carlu 1941

America - Open Your Eyes!

Jean Carlu
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11" x 14" - 28cm x 36cm

America didn't enter WWII until December, 1941, over two years after Germany invaded Poland and the war began. In August of 1941, Fortune magazine published a special issue meant to pressure American businesses to support their peers overseas. The thought was that American businesses could lobby and pressure the US government into finally entering the war to support their Allies. The magazine included several posters, of which this is one. Jean Carlu, the French artist of this poster, would have already been keenly aware of the threat of Nazism and this intensity can be seen in the poster's concise and dramatic design.

Printing on the back (which has been concealed in the linen backing process) explains the purpose of the poster series: "Preeminently America is an industrial nation and America's preeminent function in the war is as an arsenal of democracy. Yet America's capacity to produce is no stronger than the will of the men who work her mines and factories. What labor must realize is that in total war every citizen, whether in or out of uniform, is a combatant; that in the total kind of war the U.S. is fighting, a war of production labor's role is even more crucial than that of the armed forces."

Jean Carlu (1900-1997) originally began training as an architect but turned to commercial art after an accident in which he lost his right arm. In 1919 he started his career as a poster artist, becoming a leading figure in French poster design. His posters started in the Art Deco style and changed with the influence of Cubism. He came to New York in 1937 to organize an exhibition at the World’s Fair, where he remained until after WWII. It was during his time in the US that he designed one of his most famous posters, "America’s Answer! Production". In 1953 he returned to France and continued his work as a poster designer and consultant for many companies, including Air France and Firestone France.

This is an Original Vintage Poster; it is not a reproduction. This poster is conservation mounted, linen backed, and in excellent condition. We guarantee the authenticity of all of our posters.

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