Tompkins County Public Library

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Behind the Lens: A Snapshot of Propaganda at the Turn of the 20th Century Opens November 8, 2013

TCPL presents a new exhibit in the Avenue of the Friends sponsored by The History Center and Ithaca Motion Picture Project with support from the Tompkins County Tourism Program, HiWay HiFi, Moving Box Studios, and Cayuga Radio Group. 

The exhibit Behind the Lens A Snapshot of Propaganda at the Turn of the 20th Century is a free-form installation illustrating the use of propaganda during the silent film era.

At the turn of the 20th century, radio, movies, and the printed page were the tools used to propagandize war, politics, religion, and eventually, The corporate program in America.  These tools of psychological warfare were colorful, dramatic, and often outrageous in scope and statement.  With the advent of film, mental manipulation became subtler, and thus even more insidious in nature.  In any form propaganda targets emotions more than intellect.  Nothing illustrates this better than what Americans were fed at the brink of World War I.  Whether national, or right here in Ithaca, politically correct or not, the message was always loud and clear.  Local filmmakers Theodore and Leopold Wharton wove pro-American rhetoric throughout their later films and audiences were insatiable.

Tompkins County Public Library is pleased to partner with The History Center and The Ithaca Motion Picture Project, in presenting this exhibit to the community. 


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