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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Works by McClelland Barclay in the Navy Art Collection:
Recruitment Posters and Original Artwork for Posters

 

Women Join the Marines
McClelland Barclay
Oil on masonite
48-031-R

 

 

 

Women Join the Marines
McClelland Barclay
Drawing
48-031-R

 

 

 

 

WAVE with Gun Crew in the Foreground
McClelland Barclay
Oil on Canvas
48-031-K

 

 

 

 

WAVE and SPARS
McClelland Barclay
Oil on Canvas
48-031-J

 

 

 

Every Girl that Joins the WAVES
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, 1943
85-236-B


Women enlisting in the Navy during World War II served two purposes. First, they filled positions newly created by the expanding American war effort, and secondly, they replaced men in stateside assignments in order to free them for combat overseas. For this reason, some men who did not want to go into combat and some women who did not want their husbands, brothers and sons to go into combat, resented the WAVES. Women who enlisted in the Navy also suffered from the stereotype that they were overly masculine, or at the other extreme, government-sanctioned prostitutes. This produced a public relations challenge for the Navy. Through the recruiting images, the Navy hoped to depict female service as noble, serious, patriotic and feminine.

 

Another Fighter Released for Sea Duty
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, 1943
85-236-C

 

 

Of the "Release a Man to Fight Campaign," female enlistee Josette Dermody Wingo remembers, "The sailors chant, 'Release a man for active duty. Har har. It takes five of you broads to do what two guys can do.' We have to walk right by them, looking as confident and unwinded as we can. Let me tell you, it's not easy to look dignified and ladylike under these circumstances." Her testimony echoes the ambiguous emotions that surrounded the campaign. The official acknowledgment by the government of a woman's ability to replace a man boosted the women's morale; however, it was difficult to be confronted by some sailors' disdain of the campaign.

 

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Online Exhibits that feature McClelland Barclay's work

Recruiting Posters for Women from World War II -- The WAVES
Navy Art Gallery exhibit: The Normandy Invasion

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17 May 2005