He Stands The Gaff Mather Poster
Mather Poster, 1927
36 x 48 in (91 x 121 cm)
"This courageous person lifts his head -digs in- and shakes off trouble. He comes through smiling."
In this cool-toned poster, standing the gaff means both standing at the front of a boat in a storm, and taking criticism.
The 1920’s brought in great wealth for America, propaganda posters from World War I and the start of “welfare capitalism.” It was the perfect environment for Mather and Company work ethic posters to gain popularity. Employers who wished to improve the efficiency of their office, and divert worker attention away from unions, could purchase a subscription of these posters. They made use of catchy slogans, puns, and metaphors, as well as the Art Deco-style designs of well-known American artists. Though the Mather campaigns ended in 1930 due to the 1929 stock market crash, a truly American ideal had been preserved in nearly 350 different posters -- that of the importance of capitalism, individualism, and efficacy.