This significant collection was painstakingly put together over a period of 60 years by Robert S. Zigman, a 5th generation Wisconsinite and WWII veteran. Mr. Zigman and his son Robert W. Zigman donated the poster collection to the WMC in loving memory of their beloved wife and mother, Dorothy Zigman. The Zigmans have also donated posters to West Point and to other schools, libraries and historical societies, but the WMC collection is the largest.
Poster art during WWI was enormously important as it was the only form of mass communication, with the exception of newspapers, before the advent of radio and television. The posters represent a method of encouraging support for the war effort through recruiting, fund raising, general propaganda purposes, and support for the boys in uniform.
Poster art was used during WWII, but not on the scale that it was during WWI. Many of the posters were distributed through banks, military recruiting stations, post offices and governmental agencies. Many of these posters are the result of work done by leading artists of the day.