Posters created by Portland, Oregon artist, Joe Wirtheim, have been featured in the the Greenbelt Museum’s current exhibition, Green from the Start: A History of Gardening in Greenbelt, since its opening in July 2010. Imagine our surprise to find the posters in the pages of this month’s Martha Stewart Living magazine, an issue devoted to gardening!
Wirtheim’s posters, a part of his Victory Garden of Tomorrow series, are inspired by the World War II era posters produced by the federal government which encouraged Americans on the home front to plant victory gardens, can the vegetables produced, and conserve their resources. According to the artist, “The Victory Garden of Tomorrow is a self-commissioned poster campaign designed to channel the bold energy of historical poster propaganda. It is committed to civic innovation and social progress– better food, better gardens, better cities. It is artful advocacy for the modern homefront.”
Greenbelt Museum Director and Curator, Megan Searing Young, thought the posters complemented perfectly the themes of the Museum’s exhibition which explore the ways that Greenbelt’s history has always been intertwined with gardening – from it’s construction in 1937 which was based on the principles of garden city planning, to its active (and original) allotment gardens, straight through to its thriving farmer’s market today. She purchased copies of some of the posters through Wirtheim’s Etsy shop and the artist graciously sent several more, all of which have been displayed in the exhibition. For more information about the Victory Garden of Tomorrow series, visit http://victorygardenoftomorrow.com/
The exhibition poster for Green from the Start is also based on a war-time poster produced by WPA artist Hubert Morley. The Museum’s version, which was designed by Joe Parisi and incorporates work from local artist Dan Kennedy, is for sale through the Museum’s gift shop. Green from the Start: A History of Gardening in Greenbelt was made possible through the support of Prince George’s County Council member Ingrid Turner, The Greenbelt Community Foundation, the City of Greenbelt, and the Friends of the Greenbelt Museum. It will be on display through 2011.