Joan of Arc Saved France

The 1918 poster "Joan of Arc Saved France", by Haskell Coffin (1878-1941), was commissioned by the United States Treasury Department as part of the campaign to raise money for the First World War by having civilians buy war savings stamps. The low priced stamps were pasted into a booklet that when filled could be exchanged for a war bond.

The magnificent poster features Joan in full armor, brandishing a sword, but with 20th century embelishments like lipstick and makeup.  The image includes Christian symbolism with the subtext that as Joan was doing God's work to save France in her day, so contemporary Americans should join the fight in their own time.

The use of the strong female Joan of Arc image was also motivated by the fact that women's clubs were an important channel for the bond sales program.

Peace Palace Library | Poster collection