The 1972 Olympic Games: Utilizing posters for positive propaganda | Intellect Skip to content
Olympic Images: An Interdisciplinary Approach
  • ISSN: 2045-5879
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5887


In 1972, worldwide political unrest caused major national division among nations. With the Olympics on the horizon, the games committee had made it their mission to use this event to promote worldwide unity and peace. 1972 marked the first time Germany had hosted the Olympic Games since the Second World War, which put Germany in the unique position to use this event to express a new more peaceful identity. One way that the Olympic committee decided to promote their new vision of Germany was through a heavy narrative between sports and art. They pursued this goal by commissioning several notable artists to complete works for this particular year, most notably Josef Albers and Jacob Lawrence. This year allowed for a new age of Olympic art as the Olympic committee intentionally sought out relevant artists to help design the promotional art for the games. This essay discusses how Germany strategically choose these specific artists to share how the Olympics were moving from traditional advertising to fine art, and how they used these artworks as propaganda to better shape the perception of Germany.


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