Little Rock – The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History opens a traveling exhibit on June 6 about the National War Fund, an agency created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1942 to aid countries and peoples devastated by war. Work, Fight, Give: American Relief Posters of World War II stops in Little Rock as part of a national tour and will remain at the museum through August 16. The exhibit features over 40 original relief posters and memorabilia to provide a window on a watershed event in our nation’s history.
Work, Fight, Give focuses on those who gave their artistic talents to design posters to persuade Americans to donate their time and resources to rebuild from the carnage of war. Relief organizations in big cities and small towns alike found creative ways to mobilize and collectively raise millions of dollars to help those in war zones. Many of America’s top artists and illustrators, including James Montgomery Flagg and Martha Sawyers, designed relief posters, often using historical, mythological, and cultural symbols representing various countries. The poster imagery employed by the National War Fund and its relief agencies is rarely seen today and has largely been forgotten. “The exhibit serves as a powerful reminder of the continuing need for philanthropy in a tumultuous world, and how the greatest generation met that challenge,” says museum director Stephan McAteer. “We are proud to work with our local and national partners to host this exciting exhibit.”
A reception to open the exhibit will be held at the museum, located at 503 E. 9th St., on Tuesday, June 6, from 2 – 5 p.m. Dr. Hal Wert, the exhibit’s curator and a professor of history at Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, will provide a brief presentation on the posters at 2:30, and will be available throughout the reception to answer questions on war relief efforts. The exhibit is a program of Exhibits USA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance with the Arkansas Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Local funding has been provided by Helen T. Leigh.
About MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, operated under the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department, relates the military heritage of Arkansas and its citizens to a diverse and widespread audience. Located in the historic Arsenal Building in MacArthur Park – one of central Arkansas’s oldest surviving structures and the birthplace of one of this country’s foremost military heroes – the museum collects, preserves, and interprets our state’s rich military past from its territorial period to the present.