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Victory garden posters: propaganda as affordable modern art

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Joe Wirtheim showed the latest prints in his Victory Garden of Tomorrow series, on view at the Renegade Craft Fair last weekend.

Inspired by World War II propaganda posters, the artist from Portland, Ore., has been creating his own Victory Garden of Tomorrow posters since 2007 -- something he likes to call ‘artful advocacy for the modern home front.’ Decades have passed since the original call for Americans to produce food, but Wirtheim’s simple slogans -- ‘Break New Ground, Plant an Urban Farm Garden’ and ‘We’ve Done It Before, We’ll Grow It Again,’ among others -- are similar in spirit.

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The limited-edition screen prints are numbered and signed and come on acid-free paper with recycled content. The works range from $12 for an offset-press print to $40 for a hand-pulled screen print. Three-pack bundles are available for $30 on Wirtheim’s Etsy shop.

I fell for the illustrations and bought a 12-by-18-inch ‘Eat Real Food’ poster for my kitchen. I placed it in an IKEA birch frame, bringing the total cost to $35 for finished art.

-- Lisa Boone

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