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  1940 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN POSTER FOR FDR, ONE OF THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL ACROSS ALL FOUR OF HIS RUNS FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, WITH A RICH, COLORFUL PORTRAIT AND TOPICS INDICATIVE OF HIS “NEW DEAL” PLATFORM, COMMISSIONED BY THE AMERICAN LABOR PARTY IN NEW YORK

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 37.25" x 30.25"
Flag Size (H x L): 28" x 21"
Description....:
Across all of the 20th century candidates for the White House, some of the best and most graphic political campaign posters and banners can be attributed to the four presidential runs of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Among the notable group, this is a gem. Graphically pleasing and politically poignant, it features what can easily be considered the best realistic portrait of FDR that appears on this material, rendered in tones of blue and salmon. Though the same image appears on other posters, nowhere is it so clear, nor the color so saturated. Set within an oval window, this is surrounded by images that illustrate changes generated by his "New Deal" platform, initiated in 1933. Included on the left are conditions touted as having resulted from the past failures of Republican President Herbert Hoover, when Roosevelt won the presidency in 1932. These show Americans standing in bread lines, a husband and wife on the street, well-dressed, but homeless, surrounded by their belongings, and mobs of people outside a bank gone belly-up after the stock market crash. To the right are promises of a brighter future if Roosevelt is re-elected in 1940, including common laborers, pleased from receiving higher wages, a young couple and parents with a small child, each walking into new looking, affordable housing, and an elderly couple receiving Social Security checks from the postman. Beneath the incumbent president's image are the words "Reelect Roosevelt."

Along the bottom is a gear cog with clasped hands, followed by "Vote American Labor" and "Row 'C'." This is the symbol of the American Labor Party, which commissioned the poster. The row reference would correspond with the designated column on the ballot, corresponding with the associated ticket, probably in New York State. Established in 1936, the organization, which existed almost exclusively in New York, was formed by labor leaders and the most staunch faction of the Socialist Party of America, which had split off and re-established itself as the Social Democrat Federation.

A legend in the lower left margin reads "Designed by Mitchell Loeb Art Services, Inc., N.Y." Opposite, on the right, is the union bug, which denotes that the poster was printed with Union labor. Loeb's printed signature appears to the lower right of "Row 'C'."

The combination of excellent colors, graphics, and an identifiable source and maker, are wonderful, as-is the agreeable size. While not overly large, the scale is generous enough to make a bold statement, yet convenient enough to provide flexibility in the number of places it can be displayed. When this is combined with a connection to one of the most famous of all American presidents and absolutely marvelous content, so indicative of Democrat ideals and iconic to FDR's rhetoric, the result is a 10 out of 10. Whether it captures the silver or gold position among FDR posters is a matter of opinion, but there is no question that it is the hands-down best of those produced in 1940, with the best portrait, and I personally rank it among the top two overall from the four campaigns when examined together.

An example of this poster is documented in "Running for President, The Candidates and Their Images, 1900-1992" by Schlesinger, Israel, and Frendt, (1994, Simon & Schuster), p. 213.

Mounting: The poster was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of historical flags and artifacts and have framed thousands of examples. This is a pressure mount between 100% cotton twill and U.V. protective acrylic. The black fabric was washed and treated for color fastness. The mount was placed in a substantial, black-painted, mahogany molding and a very deep profile, to which a rippled profile molding, black with gold highlights, was added as a liner.

Condition: There is minor loss in the border portion of the extreme top corners. There is a central, horizontal fold with a perpendicular vertical scratch or abrasion to the left of center. There are three short border tears and there are diagonal fold lines on the left corners.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1940
Latest Date of Origin: 1940
State/Affiliation: New York
War Association:
Price: SOLD
 

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