Questioning the Bomb

Poster Exhibition Takes on Nuclear Proliferation
by Alex Stoller ’16 | poster by Lannya Sommese

A poster of a mushroom cloud made from the artist’s own blood. A joker in a gas mask juggling nuclear bombs. A fragile Japanese fan with singed folds.

These images are featured among more than 80 posters displayed at the Art Gallery this fall in “Questioning the Bomb.” The exhibition marks the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended World War II.

Professor James Thorpe ’73, M.F.A. ’76 partnered with colleagues at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Colorado State University, Fort Collins on the exhibit, in which selected poster designers worldwide were invited to submit work. He participated in a similar show 30 years ago to commemorate the 40th anniversary.

For Thorpe, the exhibition is about capturing the history of the atomic bomb and expanding the conversation on nuclear nonproliferation. He fears that over time, people have numbed themselves to the danger posed by these weapons.

“As a group, our creative and reflective conscience demands a visual translation of human history, society and culture,” he says, “especially in regard to the rapid affects of technology on our global psyche.”


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