This extraordinary WWI lithograph promoting US Liberty Bonds shows the bloody boots of a German soldier and proclaims, “Keep These Off the U.S.A. Buy More Liberty Bonds."
Displayed as part of an exhibit at the Library of Congress in 2016-2017, it was described in the exhibit catalog as follows:
While Liberty Bond posters often stressed such positive incentives as fulfilling one's patriotic duty, keeping the world safe for democracy, and backing "our boys" others sought to motivate through fear and loathing of the enemy. Here, John Norton deployed a simple, effective composition. Seen at ground level, blood-drenched boots bearing the German Reichsadler (Imperial Eagle) fuse with the title message to suggest the threat of invasion. While the war never reached American soil, this and other Fourth Liberty Loan campaign posters were instrumental in raising some seven billion dollars.
(Source: "World War I : American Artists View the Great War" in the Graphic Arts Gallery, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., October 2016 - May 2017.)
As noted in the catalog, John Warner Norton (1876-1934) created this lithograph, and his name is written in the plate on the lower right side. It was printed by The Strobridge Litho. Co., as shown in the lower right corner.
Norton was a prominent American painter and muralist. Born in Lockport, Illinois, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and gained fame principally as a muralist in the Chicago area and throughout the Midwest. He was a founding member of the Cliff Dwellers Club in Chicago. He died in Charleston, South Carolina.
This spellbinding lithograph adds a powerful focus to every collection of posters. Once seen, it is impossible to forget.