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I Want Out

Poster
1971 (published)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This is a re-issue, in smaller format, of a poster published anonymously by the Committee to Unsell the War, in a multi-media-donated campaign of 1971 protesting against US military involvement in Indo-China. 'Uncle Sam' was in reality Samuel Wilson, a provisions merchant from Troy, New York, who supplied the US army during the War of 1812 against the British. Through a series of connections he came to be identified with the plain, honest, self-reliant and patriotic American. In 1961 he was formally acknowledged by the US Senate as the progenitor of America's national symbol of Uncle Sam. As the personification of the USA he was invoked in a US recruiting poster designed by James Montgomery Flagg for the First World War in 1917; that image became iconic. This reinterpretation works through the ironic reversal of the original gestures. The original image, with an authoritative pointing gesture, summoning the viewer to enlist, is now inverted as Uncle Sam is turned into a wounded soldier, pleading to be released.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Colour offset lithograph
Brief description
Poster by Larry Dunst and Steve Horn for the Committee to Unsell the War, entitled 'I want out'. USA, 1971.
Physical description
Portrait format poster of photographically real, half length 'Uncle Sam' (American Civil War veteran), with grey hair and beard, bandaged head and bandaged, outstretched hand; the other clutching his hat. With caption beneath in blue and red lettering.
Dimensions
  • Sheet height: 1031mm
  • Sheet width: 761mm
Styles
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
c[opyright] 1971. The Committee to Unsell the War.Box 903 F.D.R. Station,New York.NY 18022. A Contemporary Poster Classic distributed by Darien House. Inc., New York City. Where offered for sale a royalty is offered to the Committee to Unsell the War. (Distributor's identification; Colour offset lithography)
Credit line
Given by Mr Jack Rennert
Production
Reason For Production: Retail
Subjects depicted
Summary
This is a re-issue, in smaller format, of a poster published anonymously by the Committee to Unsell the War, in a multi-media-donated campaign of 1971 protesting against US military involvement in Indo-China. 'Uncle Sam' was in reality Samuel Wilson, a provisions merchant from Troy, New York, who supplied the US army during the War of 1812 against the British. Through a series of connections he came to be identified with the plain, honest, self-reliant and patriotic American. In 1961 he was formally acknowledged by the US Senate as the progenitor of America's national symbol of Uncle Sam. As the personification of the USA he was invoked in a US recruiting poster designed by James Montgomery Flagg for the First World War in 1917; that image became iconic. This reinterpretation works through the ironic reversal of the original gestures. The original image, with an authoritative pointing gesture, summoning the viewer to enlist, is now inverted as Uncle Sam is turned into a wounded soldier, pleading to be released.
Collection
Accession number
E.365-1973

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Record createdFebruary 28, 2003
Record URL
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