July 28, 2014 is the one hundredth anniversary * of the beginning of what the British called, The Great War. While America had already experienced the vast destruction (of humans and land) during our mid-19th century Civil War, World War I was the first time Europe experienced the broad devastation of land and people in the grinder of modern warfare. Not surprising, contemporary illustration reflected the conditions of the battlefields and trenches even as it sometimes reflected another sugar-coated version of the experiences of the common foot soldier.
left, Clyde Forsythe (1885-1962); And they thought we couldn’t Fight: Victory Liberty Loan, 1918; Lithographic print on paper
right, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978); If Only Mother Could See Me Now, 1918; Cover illustration for Life (June 13, 1918); oil on canvas; Private Collection