Artful Coercion: The Aesthetic Extremes of Stencil in Wartime

In the late 1990s, the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago discovered a lost group of 157 enormous hand-stenciled propaganda posters produced during World War II by an art collective of working under the umbrella of the news agency TASS. Intended to boost morale and report on the war, the posters were designed for temporary window display—TASS almost produced one for each day of the war. After more than a decade of study and restoration, the posters went on view this fall in a mammoth exhibition— the first on its subject in English.