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Gordon Grant WW1 Poster "The Comforter' 1918 - American Red Cross Nurse Recruiting Poster
An original period WW1 poster illustrated by Gordon Grant, a well known American artist and illustrator (1875-1962) who was born in San Francisco and educated in England. Grant was one of the most popular illustrators of his time, working for The San Francisco Examiner, The New York World, Puck, and Harper's Weekly under whose employ he served as a combat artist covering both the Boer War and the Mexican Revolution. His works hang in many museums worldwide, and his marine painting of the U. S. Constitution is in the collection of The White House, where it has hung in the Oval Office.
During WW1 many medical services for the Allies were provided by the American Red Cross who depended for its staff on young women volunteers. It was challenging work, often taking these volunteer nurses onto the battle fields and into the trenches, and many American women served with honor and heroism. The Red Cross also depended on America's artists and illustrators to create posters that would recruit these women volunteers as well as solicit funds. These images often romanticized the jobs of these American heroines as does this one by Grant.
Condition is very good. There are no folds, and the color is better on this period example than on the reproductions I have seen. In addition, this period poster is larger than, and has a blue border that is not included in, modern reprints. There are some small losses at the edges and a short tear on the blue border only, the most noticeable loss at the lower left corner, the rest really inconsequential. Mounting on a blue board would make these small problems virtually invisible, but then you may prefer to show it's condition which is testament to it's age and authenticity. Signed in the plate. The poster itself measures 18 1/4" x 24 1/4" and is shrink wrapped against a piece of foam core but not attached to it. Printed inexpensively in wartime, not many of these originals survived.
In this image a civilian woman and her baby, their home a smoldering ruin in the background, are being comforted by a beautiful, young American Red Cross nurse with an American Red Cross ambulance standing nearby, it's bright Red Cross a beacon of security and compassion in the war torn landscape. A moving tribute that honors the historic role played by women volunteers and nurses everywhere.
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