Artist Channels Historical Propaganda Posters to Promote Gardening

Every year, Portland designer Joe Wirtheim produces a new series of posters celebrating the Victory Garden of Tomorrow:

The Victory Garden of Tomorrow is an original self-commissioned poster campaign designed to channel the bold energy of historical poster propaganda while building on the idea that there is power in small places. It is committed to civic innovation and social progress-- better food, better gardens, better cities. It is artful advocacy for the modern homefront.

He explains the attraction:

I enjoyed the charm of the active-voice propaganda, like a mother telling you to eat your vegetables - who can argue with that? Planting a garden, riding a bike, and just getting up and doing something. I found out that kind of art is called "agit-prop" or agitational propaganda, because it persuades the audience to get up and do something, not just change their minds.

old and new postersLloyd Alter/Public Domain

Why do I love these so much? Whenever I am on the lecture circuit talking about heritage buildings and neighbourhoods, I talk about how people lived during the World Wars, how they recycled, used less, grew their own gardens. I compare a poster from World War II and a green website from today, noting how they are really promoting the same thing: walk more, raise your own food, conserve. Joe's posters both resonate and encourage. See them all at Victory Gardens of the Future and buy them at Etsy.

See our collections of them in the related column to the left.

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