Celebrate People's History: Sacco and Vanzetti

Josh MacPhee
GVSU Collection
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
October 2010
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
A red, black, and white poster that has two portraits of men side by side with their names underneath. There are small designs and decorations around the portraits of fish, bombs, shoe, flames and flowers. Beneath the portraits is a paragraph of black text that reads: “Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian-born anarchists who arrived in the US in 1908. Sacco was a shoe-maker and Vanzetti a fish seller. A payroll was held-up in Braintree, Massachusetts on April 15, 1920, where the paymaster and security guard were killed. Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested for the action. Multiple trials and appeals later, they were found guilty and executed by electric chair on August 23, 1927. Today there is significant evidence that they did not commit the crime, and few contest that their trial were grossly unjust. During the trial they did not shy away from their anarchist beliefs or their commitment to revolutionary violence.”
Historical Context:
The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced political propaganda. These posters embody democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of the past. Unlike most political posters, the posters part of the Celebrate People’s History series tell the stories of the underdogs, those individuals and groups helping to move forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more just world. For 20 years, over 130 different posters have been displayed on the streets of over a dozen cities representing over 150 artists and writers. The Celebrate People’s History Poster Series has been organized and curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.