We love the design and artistry of WPA-era posters—many of which celebrate American history and its natural wonders. These posters were designed and drafted by professional artists and illustrators, who found work through the WPA during the Great Depression. At first the WPA posters were hand-drawn and colored; later, silk-screening the poster artwork to speed production. But even during the highest production years the posters were a hand-made process. (Read more about the history, below.)
In the spirit of celebrating American history, and the graphic style of the WPA Posters, The Pursuit of History has commissioned the first in a planned series of limited-edition posters to celebrate historic sites—which the WPA project did not depict. (We like to think that if the program had lasted longer, they would have, eventually!)
For this design, we commissioned artist Larry Stuart to envision what Fort Ticonderoga, one of our favorite historic sites (and very much in ruin during the WPA poster era), would look like as a WPA poster. Stuart’s art is inspired by history and his original design follows the spirit of the original series from reference photographs to create an entirely new design.
Size: 11" x 14"
About the paper weight and printing process: Printed on a 10 pt. Cardstock matte using standard inks.
This design is also available in a limited edition fine art print, cards, sticker, and magnet.
Also available, our series of original fine art prints honoring America’s great historic sites. View all at ThePursuitOfHistory.org/prints
About the Artist
Larry Stuart is an illustrator and lettering-artist who incorporates a sense of history and the well worn into his work. He loves the patina of rural America and enjoys wandering back roads looking for inspiration. He's been to more Civil War sites than you’d think is possible. You can see more of his work at larrystuartstudio.com
About Fort Ticonderoga
"Fort Ticonderoga, formerly Fort Carillon, is a large 18th-century star fort built by the French at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain, in northern New York, in the United States. It was constructed by Canadian-born French military engineer Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, Marquis de Lotbinière between October 1755 and 1757, during the action in the "North American theater" of the Seven Years' War, often referred to in the US as the French and Indian War. The fort was of strategic importance during the 18th-century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France, and again played an important role during the Revolutionary War.
Fort Ticonderoga, overlooking Lake Champlain (2015)
"The site controlled a river portage alongside the mouth of the rapids-infested La Chute River, in the 3.5 miles (5.6 km) between Lake Champlain and Lake George. It was thus strategically placed for the competition over trade routes between the British-controlled Hudson River Valley and the French-controlled Saint Lawrence River Valley.
"The terrain amplified the importance of the site. Both lakes were long and narrow and oriented north–south, as were the many ridge lines of the Appalachian Mountains, which extended as far south as Georgia. The mountains created nearly impassable terrains to the east and west of the Great Appalachian Valley that the site commanded.
The name "Ticonderoga" comes from the Iroquois word tekontaró:ken, meaning "it is at the junction of two waterways".
"During the 1758 Battle of Carillon, 4,000 French defenders were able to repel an attack by 16,000 British troops near the fort. In 1759, the British returned and drove a token French garrison from the fort. During the Revolutionary War, when the British controlled the fort, it was attacked on May 10, 1775, in the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the Green Mountain Boys and other state militia under the command of Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, who captured it in the surprise attack. Cannons taken from the fort were transported to Boston to lift its siege by the British, who evacuated the city in March 1776. The Americans held the fort until June 1777, when British forces under General John Burgoyne occupied high ground above it; the threat resulted in the Continental Army troops being withdrawn from the fort and its surrounding defenses. The only direct attack on the fort during the Revolution took place in September 1777, when John Brown led 500 Americans in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the fort from about 100 British defenders.
"The British abandoned the fort after the failure of the Saratoga campaign, and it ceased to be of military value after 1781. After gaining independence, the United States allowed the fort to fall into ruin; local residents stripped it of much of its usable materials. Purchased by a private family in 1820, it became a stop on tourist routes of the area. Early in the 20th century, its private owners restored the fort. A foundation now operates the fort as a tourist attraction, museum, and research center."
Learn more about the National Park Posters whose style inspired this original art