1942 U.S. War Production Board stickers

People typically picture various left- and right-wing socio-political groups using stickers to convey their messages, but governments have also produced stickers as propaganda to promote their agendas (sometimes known as “paper bullets,” “paper leaflets,” or, if dropped from planes in the sky, “confetti soldiers”). A batch of U.S. government stickers was sent to me recently that I learned were made by the War Production Board (WPB) in 1942 during World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in an effort to shore up manufacturing. The Library of Congress has several examples here, here, here, here, and here, stating “The…

“Inspiring | Controversial | OBEY!” Stickers by Shepard Fairey and bootleg stickers by many other artists

Sticker boards from Inspiring | Controversial | OBEY! Screen prints and stickers by Shepard Fairey at St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY), August 10 – September 3, 2022. Organized by Oliver Baudach, Hatch Kingdom Sticker Museum, and Catherine Tedford, SLU Gallery Director, the exhibition features stickers from both of their collections.

Featured collector: Chuck Keppler

A U.S. collector named Chuck Keppler contacted me recently in conjunction with the exhibition of screen prints and stickers by Shepard Fairey at St. Lawrence University, Inspiring | Controversial | OBEY! Chuck has compiled an amazing collection of Obey stickers and an Obey sticker database that numbers over 1,400 and is grouped by themes: OGs, icons, star icons, Obey/Giant, propaganda, circles, banners, commercial identity, etc. I asked for an interview, and here are Chuck’s responses. Can you describe how and when you got started with the Shepard Fairey Obey sticker database project? What piqued your interest? Do you collect the…

Obey Giant @ SLU

Oliver Baudach and I are organizing a new exhibition of silkscreen prints and stickers by Shepard Fairey for the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University. INSPIRING | CONTROVERSIAL | OBEY! Silkscreen prints and stickers by Shepard Fairey Organized by Oliver Baudach and Catherine Tedford August 10 – September 3, 2022 INSPIRING | CONTROVERSIAL | OBEY! presents work by one of the most well-known contemporary American street artists, Shepard Fairey. Drawn from St. Lawrence University’s permanent collection and private collections, the exhibition showcases work from over thirty years of the artist’s prolific career: from Fairey’s Andre the Giant…

SLU Faculty/Staff May College 2022

Stickerkitty research blog Blog started in 2008 as .com (thanks to Amy Hauber for help with original set up) and migrated with new features to .org in 2021 (thanks to Sarah Knobel); 387 posts published as of 5.20.22 Plugged (catalogued digital archives + uncatalogued Flickr sites – see below) Gallery (images that feed from Stickerkitty’s collection on Flickr) Readings + I.W.W. “Stickerettes” Bibliography Miscellany (C.V./Contact; DO SOMETHING [OBEY]; Les Chats) Multiple links on the right column grouped by artists, themes, countries) Posts about Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) “stickerettes” or “silent agitators” (1910s-present) Posts about Adding images of I.W.W.…

Featured artists/activists: Slavers of New York

The Slavers of New York sticker campaign and guerrilla education initiative is the work of three independent activists, Ada Reso, Maria Robles, and Elsa Eli Waithe, who in 2020 began posting stickers that looked like street signs altered to name New York City’s early slaveowners. Using census and manumission records, newspaper listings, and in-depth historical research, they have identified over 200 government officials, businessmen, and wealthy farmers who owned or traded enslaved people from the 1600s through the early 1800s. For the group’s first sticker, Elsa notes, “Nostrand Ave. is seven miles long in Brooklyn. And … what’s really egregious…

1937 Advertisement for I.W.W. “Stickerettes”

Someone who asked to remain anonymous kindly sent me a gift out of the blue last month of the May 1937 edition of the I.W.W. publication, The One Big Union Monthly. Featured on the back cover is an advertisement for stickers on sale for $2.00 per thousand. It still surprises me how prolific these stickerettes/stickers were in the early 1900s and how rare they are to find today. While I recognize most of the images, the two black and white cartoons featured here are completely new to me. These are some of the actual stickers. This was also on the…

Featured artist: Avram Finkelstein, Part I

Avram Finkelstein is an AIDS activist, artist, writer, and during the late 1980s, a co-founding member of the legendary Silence=Death and Gran Fury collectives in New York City. In 1986, he and five others designed the iconic “Silence=Death” poster, which was soon shared with ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, in order to propel the image’s ubiquity through buttons, t-shirts, and stickers. He states, “[t]he AIDS activist community… actually created it, a community in search of its voice, one that went on to find it through the activation of its own social spaces. [The Silence=Death] image, as we…

Covid-19 Conspiracy and Anti-Vaxx Stickers in Potsdam, NY

I found a rash of Covid-19 conspiracy and anti-vaxx stickers last week in Potsdam, NY, stretching down two blocks on Market Street in front of many of the main stores and restaurants in town that were open during the busy holiday season. These stickers didn’t list the “Join the White Rose” disinformation group like the stickers that I wrote about from NYC last November, but the QR code on one of them linked to Open VAERS, a legitimate vaccine adverse reaction event reporting system run in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug…

Covid-19 Conspiracy and Disinformation Stickers in NYC

I was able to go to NYC last weekend for the first time since January 2020, curious to see what the stickers would be like there after such a tumultuous couple of years in the United States, post-Trump and in the midst of a global pandemic. Saturday evening in midtown yielded few stickers at all, and surprisingly, almost nothing related to current affairs. Ho hum, snooze. Thanks, America. There were a few, though. On Sunday morning, I had seen some footage on Sandi Bachom’s and Ron Filipkowski’s Twitter feeds about a group of Proud Boys marching in the city the…