John Falter's Proud-I'll say. Join the Waves is a stirring World War II recruitment poster from July 1943, showcasing the pride of a father for his daughter serving in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), the women's branch of the United States Navy.
The 1940s marked a significant shift in societal attitudes and military policy, as women were increasingly encouraged to contribute to the war effort in various capacities. The creation of the WAVES in the United States Navy was a crucial part of this transformation. This poster, with its emotive depiction of familial pride, served as an effective tool in recruiting women to join the service.
In the poster, an older man is seen proudly displaying a portrait of his daughter, Mary, in her Navy uniform. The photograph, inscribed with "To Dad Love Mary", underscores the personal connection and the sense of pride associated with serving in the WAVES. The American flag on his desk and the scenes of daily life continuing outside his window ground the image in a relatable context, connecting the war effort to everyday American life.
John Falter, the artist behind this poster, was a renowned illustrator known for his covers for The Saturday Evening Post. Influenced by artists like Frederic Remington and Norman Rockwell, Falter brought a distinctive style to his work, often capturing quintessential American scenes. His contributions to the war effort extended to creating over 300 recruitment posters, among which his work for the WAVES stands as a testament to his skill and versatility.
The poster Proud-I'll say. Join the Waves is more than a piece of recruitment material. It is a powerful snapshot of a transformative time in American history, a testament to changing gender roles, and a tribute to the vital role women played in World War II. It also represents the enduring legacy of John Falter's artistry, capturing the ethos of a nation at a pivotal moment.