San Antonio Public Library-owned WWI propaganda posters to be shown in French museum

'Winds and Words of War' contains pieces from Hertzberg collection

SAN ANTONIO – With bold colors and words, the 40 posters and prints of World War 1 propaganda at the San Antonio Public Library take viewers back a century.

Calling for everything from enlisting to buying war bonds, the World War I propaganda pieces in the "Winds and Words of War" exhibit will be displayed at the Museum of the Great War in France beginning in September.

The last leg of the prints' European tour will coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the war's end on Nov. 11.

The prints are a portion of the prints owned by the San Antonio Public Library, which were found in the collection of former state Sen. Harry Hertzberg.

"This is a pre-television, pre-radio era, and commercial illustration was the way that people got their news, their social, their sports, all of the information in their everyday environment," said Allison Hays Lane, exhibit curator.

With the exhibit, Hays Lane said, are materials on San Antonio and Bexar County's role in that effort, for example with Kelly Field.

"With the engineers, the airplane construction, all of the training that went on was huge," Hays Lane said.

The propaganda pieces are the stars, however.

"It carries messages that still resonate to us today: helping refugees, messages such as 'give a vet a job when he comes home,' supporting military families, supporting the U.S. government through buying war bonds," Hays Lane said. "All these efforts that are still communicated in different ways today, but certainly carry the same meaning as they did 100 years ago."

About the Author:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.