U.S.A. Bonds Third Liberty Loan Campaign, Boy Scouts of America

Joseph Christian Leyendecker (American, b. Germany, 1874–1951)
Dimensions30 × 20 inches
CreditGift of Ernest Weidhaas, 1975
Accession Number75.24.22

The Division of Pictorial Publicity tasked J. C. Leyendecker and other illustrators to design posters promoting the Third Liberty Loan, which opened on April 6, 1918, the first anniversary of the U.S. declaration of war on Germany. The campaign offered an honor flag to communities that reached their subscription quotas. This award increased competition, and towns could earn additional stars by doubling their goal.

The American Boy Scouts, founded in 1910, was still a fairly new group during the War. Leyendecker shows the kneeling scout not actively engaged in the War but displaying support by handing a sword to the looming figure of Lady Liberty. Charles Beach, a model and long-term partner of the artist, posed for both figures.

Leyendecker is best known for his 322 cover illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post, including iconic images of Santa Claus and the New Year’s Baby. His unique visual style influenced fellow artist Norman Rockwell, who succeeded him as the most successful illustrator of mainstream American themes.

Exhibition History