defense and security, economics and agriculture, education and culture, air and sea links to the outside world. These posters were designed by the foremost Jewish artists in the Land of Israel and the diaspora. They gave graphic and pictorial expression to Zionist concerns.
In the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the poster was a central medium of expression and communication. Popular television had not yet been born, and radio was only in its infancy at the start of this era. Daily journalism was limited and lacked color, and cinema newsreels were rare. In the absence of today's media for mass communication, a colorful poster could create a lively, spirited connection to Jewish multitudes where ever it was distributed or displayed - in the streets of cities and towns, in schools, in homes, in kibbutz and moshav offices, in Jewish community centers throughout the Diaspora. The color poster was a straightforward, authentic medium for conveying ideas and messages, and for influencing hundreds of thousands of adults and youth.
Despite the limited capabilities of the printing industry in those years, the designers, writers and printers of these posters succeeded in producing artistic work of a high technical quality. Today, the messages may seem to reflect the spirit of another era; however a sense of pioneering accompanied Zionist activity in the years of the state-in-the-making, and even the most ordinary activity may have been seen as being achieved for the first time in 2,000 years. Virtually every action was accompanied by this sense of history-in-the-making. The posters provided a visual accompaniment to the major events of those years - an ancient people rising again, proclaiming its independence, establishing a new self-governing state, and in the process reviving the Hebrew language.
This exhibit presents a small selection from hundreds of such posters which are preserved in the Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem. They appear here as part of the observance of the 100th anniversary of modern political Zionism. They show the role the Zionist Movement played in the decades leading to the establishment of the State of Israel. They show the centrality of Zionism in the creative life of the people of Israel in their own Land and in the Diaspora during this period.
* The works presented in this exhibit are from the poster collection of the Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem.
This exhibit was produced by the Public Affairs Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress.
Jerusalem, Israel, 1997