Prominent artist Robert Indiana designed this poster advertising the 1967 performance of the opera The Mother of Us All. This opera by Virgil Thomson, with the libretto by Gertrude Stein, is about the life of Susan B. Anthony, widely considered the mother of the woman’s suffrage movement in the US. Indiana also designed the sets and costumes for the production of this opera by the Center Opera Company at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
This poster shows Anthony in the center wearing a sash that says “MOTHER.” She stands in front of the black silhouette of an antique car, its yellow headlights shining on either side of her. Anthony spent most of her adult life on the road, crisscrossing the US and speaking out for women’s right to vote.
Surrounding Anthony are banners, flags, stripes and stars, all in patriotic red, white and blue colors. Indiana also incorporated quite a bit of text into the poster, reflecting his view of himself as a painter of signs, as well as the inspiration he drew in his art from billboards and commercial signs.
Regarded as one of the important figures in the Pop Art movement, Robert Indiana (1928-2018), was born Robert Clark. He grew up in Indiana in a family that moved frequently from town to town in the state and took “Indiana” as his last name in recognition of this.
Indiana is best known for his “LOVE” series of prints and sculptures, first produced in the 1960s. His two-row graphic of the word, with its tilted "O," is one of the most recognizable works of modern art in the world. The original LOVE sculpture is located at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, but his work is represented in the collections of numerous major museums and institutions, and versions of his outdoor LOVE sculptures are seen in cities worldwide.