In 1912, James Oppenheim commemorated the struggle of striking textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts with a poem inspired by a banner carried by young women mill hands. The banner read, "We want bread and roses, too," affirming the biblical adage, "Man does not live by bread alone." Set to music by Mimi Farina and recorded by Judy Collins, the poem found new meaning in the 70s. The theme was adopted by New York's District 1199 of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees for an unprecedented two-year project celebrating the arts and humanities that remains an annual event. With more than 70% of the district membership's being black or Hispanic, and almost 85% women, Davis chose an unidentified beautiful young black woman as his model. His painting of her, garlanded with wheat stalks and roses, became an icon of the period.
Printed in 1968 by students at the Rhode Island School of Design, this poster is part of a series created to protest the Vietnam War. This particular poster features a gas-masked anonymous person, with the quote "Is this the American Way" reading below. Supplies were donated by concerned supporters and the students ultimately made 8 posters in the series. They were sold for a few dollars that year, many being hung around college campuses and really wherever the students could slap them onto a wall. A complete collection of this series is held in the Library of Congress and is considered to be one of the more important examples of young activism in our country's history.
Printed around 1965, this poster advertises Booth's Gin, asking the viewer to "Protest Against the Rising Tide of Conformity." The lower text reads "Serve Booth's House of Lords, the non-conformist gin from England."