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Top 10 Mao Zedong Propaganda Posters

Updated on December 12, 2016
Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-tung, December 26, 1893 September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he ruled as an aut
Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-tung, December 26, 1893 September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he ruled as an aut | Source

Knowing that China in the '40s and '50s, had a very high illiteracy levels we can understand the method of displaying images carrying strong visual ideas.

The posters production, easy to disseminate, played a very important role in communication and manipulation of people from the different and far away regions of that big country.

During "the great leap forward" (1958 - 1960) and subsequent "Cultural Revolution" (1966 - 1976), when millions of people were mobilized for action, the production of political posters reached the highest levels. Those poster's content, visually appealed to the national important role that each one played in the triumph of the "glorious revolution".

This mouvement headed by the big leader, Chairman Mao, as the Great Teacher, Great Leader, Great Helmsman and Supreme Commander, glorified him with a personality cult that influenced every aspect of Chinese life.
Especially during the "Cultural Revolution", Mao was present in almost all of those posters, employed to bolster the personality cult around him, producing art that would contribute to the construction of Mao's god-like image.

According to Stefan R. Landsberger, it's estimated to have been printed about 2.2 billion of official portraits of Mao during the Cultural Revolution, which corresponds to three per inhabitant.

Today, these posters are part of China's history, revealing a lot about Mao's strategies towards the people of China.

Important Poster Collections

Propaganda Poster Art Centre

The Propaganda Poster Art Centre is a museum located in Shanghai which exhibits posters from the Maoist period of communist China, especially from the Cultural Revolution period.

The museum consists of only two rooms, however with a rich collection of rare last-piece posters. There is also a gift shop selling Mao-era paraphernalia, original and copied propaganda posters, and various antique objects.

The owner of the museum, Mr. Yang Pei Ming, started collecting the posters as a hobby in 1995. The museum is visited mainly by tourists, as it is listed in guides such as Lonely Planet and Frommers.

The Ann Tompkins (Tang Fandi) and Lincoln Cushing Chinese Poster Collection

A collection assembled by Ann Tompkins, a U.S. citizen invited to China after supporting the People's Republic of China at the 1965 World Peace Conference in Stockholm. She spent five years in Beijing teaching English, and returned several times subsequently. Her passion for the worker-friendly graphic art of China prompted her to accumulate what promises to be the largest U.S. collection of posters produced during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Chinaposters — The Cultural Revolution

Evolving Modernization Viewed in China’s Political Posters based on Jon Sigurdson’s Collection of Posters 1963-1983

Collection of Posters

Gallery of Chinese Propaganda Posters

200 Highlights from the collections of the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, and Stefan R. Landsberger (University of Amsterdam, Leiden University).

Clicking on the images takes you right to Flickr where you can see more posters.

Posters Photos
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Some Humor...

Hold The Mao: 8 Revolutionary Revised Chairman Mao Posters

Follow the link to see the other posters
Follow the link to see the other posters | Source

Evil Chairman Mao

At Recca's blog we can find a comic series parodying the posters named the Evil Chairman Mao

Just for a small context:

Trying to understand the Cultural Revolution..

As it's difficult for some of us, specially the younger, to understand the period of Mao's government I've chosen two videos that can give us some historic highlights about the context of the Cultural Revolution.

And more..


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    • Margaridab profile image

      Margarida Borges 7 years ago from Lyon, France

      That's right and they also have a unique way to represent persons (muscled, strong, beautiful) It's similar to the Renaissance art when only the perfect man was represented.

      And it's a technique also used in the other communist countries, the "new men of the revolution"

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Propaganda posters often border on the creepy side, but the artists are usually very talented.