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The Spirit of 1917

Four marines marching, the center two are carrying flags. The one on the left is holding the American flag, the one on the right is holding the marine corp flag. The other two marines are carrying rifles.
Description: Painting, Oil on Canvas; By Leon Alaric Shafer; 1917; Framed Dimensions 48H X 38W
Accession #: 60-381-K
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A popular image on recruiting posters for the European War, this painting tries to bring to viewers’ minds recent successes enjoyed by the United States Marine Corps in Caribbean actions.  Its title and composition are reminiscent of the famous painting “Spirit of ‘76” by Archibald Willard, which was popular at the time.  Both paintings were intended to engender a spirit of patriotism and determination in viewers.  In this one, a color guard leads Marines into action across tropical beaches: proud, well-equipped, and prepared for action.

Document Type
  • Art
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War I 1917-1918
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials