World War II Arthur Rothenberg Posters, ca. 1943
Well, my dad was an artist during World War II, and he worked in England for the whole war, and part of what he was asked to do was, he developed a series of posters. And my family doesn't know very much about them-- where they went, how they were distributed. But they were printed in England, and he would roll them up in a tube and send them home to his mother. And we discovered them in my mother's closet about a year ago. He did get a letter from two brigadier generals thanking him for doing the posters.
So I actually think your father might have been more prolific than you even think. I saw the letters that you brought from the generals, thanking him for his work. I believe that's for a different series of posters.
These are a series of posters that are usually done as factory production posters, or work incentive posters, to get factory workers to focus more on the job ahead. Now, I say I think your father was more prolific than you believe. I have never seen his work before, and I've never heard his name before. And I'm so excited about that. We are the first documenters of his work. There's none of it on the internet, and seeing something for the first time is really exciting in and of itself. But these are great graphic images. These are, in my opinion, classic examples of mid-century design. "Geared for Accuracy," which has the American flag in the middle of the clockworks of a stopwatch. "Bonds Buy Bombs." "Speed and Accuracy," and the compass so intelligently splayed out like the letter A, for accuracy. And then, "Think, Then Move." It's really sort of encouraging people to get into the war effort, to focus on their work. Some of them on the bottom have the date 1943. On some of them, you see his initials, Arthur Rothenberg?
On this one, you actually see his name. He wrote "Arthur" there on the compass, which I think is wonderful. One of the things about these that I think is extra-appealing: They're of such a convenient size. They're easy to hang. I'm going to suggest a conservative estimate as to their value, which I think, each one of these, at auction, I would appraise between $400 and $600 apiece, for a total of $1,600 to $2,400 for the group.
That's very nice, thank you. I really appreciate knowing more about it.
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