Museum set to host Australian War Memorial exhibition

A touring exhibition from the Australian War Memorial will give Orange residents an insight into life during times of war when it opens at Orange Regional Museum on Thursday 26 November.

Hearts and minds: wartime propaganda explores how wartime propaganda posters were used during the First and Second World Wars.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd welcomed the exhibition and encouraged residents of Orange and surrounding towns to take the time to visit such an interesting display while it is in the Central West.

“We appreciate the Australian War Memorial sharing its exhibitions with us and offering regional residents the opportunity to access these important collections,” he said.

“As the city commemorated Remembrance Day only a couple of weeks ago, this exhibition provides a timely opportunity for us all to learn more about what life was like back in wartime and the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women.”

The remarkable exhibition displays 39 framed posters selected from the Memorial’s world-class poster collection to allow comparisons between different nations and their approaches to propaganda over time.

It includes some of the world’s most iconic propaganda posters created by leading graphic artists of the twentieth century, including:

  • The famous “I Want You” US Army poster created by James Montgomery Flagg and featuring the character of Uncle Sam.
  • “The Blonde Bombshell” poster created by Abram Games, which was banned by the British Government during the Second World War for being too risqué.
  • The now iconic “Keep Calm and Carry On” British national security poster.

Director of the Australian War Memorial Matt Anderson said these posters and images help us to reflect on the wartime experiences both at home and abroad at a time of great peril.

“In this digital age of the internet, social media and smart phones, Hearts and Minds gives a unique insight into how we communicated during wartime,” he said.

“The propaganda posters demonstrate the fear, trauma and the humour that was present throughout the community at the time; and how propaganda was used to inspire people and to enlist them during the darkest days of the war.”

The Memorial holds a collection of more than 10,000 wartime posters, from government-issued campaign prints to handmade placards protesting the war in Vietnam.

Hearts and minds introduces this collection while focusing on Australian home-front propaganda during the First and Second World Wars.

The exhibition will be displayed in Orange Regional Museum until 14 March 2021.

WARTIME EXPERIENCE: Mike Allen and Ally Roche hang the touring exhibition ‘Hearts and Minds: wartime propaganda’ in the Orange Regional Museum.

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