The National Library of Medicine is hosting an exhibition of 20th century public health posters collected from all over the world.
On the right is a U.S. poster from the 1940’s, and it ain’t about the dangers of tobacco.
From the New York Times:
Titled “An Iconography of Contagion,” the exhibition features work from numerous countries on an array of diseases, among them syphilis, malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. The posters are on display at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington through Dec. 19.
Much of the exhibition suggests a mash-up of advertising and public health. The posters tried to convey the danger of disease and get people to change their behavior, said the curator, Michael Sappol, a historian at the library of medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.
But “they’re also about the pleasure of the image,” he continued, adding, “There have been some very sexy, colorful, playful posters about some very serious diseases.”