Feb 08, 2024 - Sale 2658

Sale 2658 - Lot 32

Price Realized: $ 1,875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,000

JOHN LENNON (1940-1980) & YOKO ONO (1933- )

War Is Over! If You Want It.
Offset lithograph poster. 762x507mm, 30x20 inches. 1969.

As part of their activism for peace (which included bed-ins) John Lennon and Yoko Ono launched a major media campaign in 1969, for which they purchased space on large billboards in 12 major cities around the world. The giant signs they pasted up read "War is Over / If You Want It / Happy Christmas from John and Yoko." Flyers with the bold, simple typographic message were distributed to passersby, and smaller posters were printed to be hung in windows of private homes. A savvy and prescient move (some cynics have said it was done for profit), the campaign received a tremendous amount of media coverage. Nevertheless, John and Yoko provided a generation of war-weary youth a new slogan to embrace. In 1971, they released a song "Happy Xmas (War is Over)," which has become a staple on holiday playlists. The other text variant reads "Happy Christmas from John & Yoko" at the bottom.

The Poster 664 (var), MoMA 2964.2008.