The Committee on Public Information was established during World War I to turn every channel of communication and education to promote the war effort. The Committee marshaled agencies of the press, education, and advertising, among others into wartime service for the Committee. The following questions are posed: 1) To what degree did the Committee practice direct censorship in its promotion of wartime issues? 2) What was the role of education in the wartime campaigns? 3) What was the role of the artist in wartime art affect public taste? This article is based on the theory put forth by Lawrence A. Cremin (1988), that both education and miseducation of the public extends beyond schools, universities, libraries, museums, and other formal educational institutions, to what knowledge they learn from popular communication. I will show how the Committee controlled the channels of communication in education, wartime publicity, and advertising to promote nationalism. The first section of the article outlines the structure and purpose of the Committee on Public information. The second assesses the influence of the Committee on the schools, universities, and correspondence art courses. The final section discusses the successes and contradictions of the Committee, with particular regard to concepts of freedom and censorship for the individual, the academy, and the artist.


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