Almost everything popular culture tells us about Rosie the Riveter is wrong, from the wartime popularity of the “We Can Do It!” poster to Rosie’s historical identity.
This presentation investigates the many myths that have evolved around the famous “We Can Do It!” poster. Extensive archival research shows that most of what we think we know about it is untrue, ranging from its role as a recruitment tool in World War II to its empowerment of women on the home front. Even the identity of its model is based on a misunderstanding. Prepare yourself to meet the poster’s elusive artist, J. Howard Miller, to examine some of his other, rarely-seen posters, and to find out more about the unknown woman who might actually have inspired his famous feminist icon. By the end of the highly-illustrated talk, you’ll know much more about the origin and evolution of one of the country’s most enduring images.
Title: Professor of Communication & the Arts, Seton Hall University