J. Howard Miller

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J. Howard Miller
We Can Do It!.jpg
J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It!"
Born c. 1915
United States
Died 1990 or 2004
Nationality United States
Education Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Notable work the "We Can Do It!" poster

J. Howard Miller was an American graphic artist. He painted posters during World War II in support of the war effort, among them the famous "We Can Do It!" poster, frequently misidentified as Rosie the Riveter. Aside from the iconic poster, Miller remains largely unknown.[1]

Painting the poster[edit]

Little has been written about Miller's life, and the year of his birth and death are uncertain.[2] His life span has been published as "ca. 1915 – ca. 1990"[3], "ca. 1915 – 1990",[4] and "1918–2004"[5]

Miller studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, graduating in 1939.[6] He lived in Pittsburgh during the war. His work came to the attention of the Westinghouse Company (later, the Westinghouse War Production Co-Ordinating Committee), and he was hired to create a series of posters. The posters were sponsored by the company's internal War Production Co-Ordinating Committee, one of the hundreds of labor-management committees organized under the supervision of the national War Production Board.

Miller may have based the "We Can Do It!" poster on a United Press International (UPI) photograph supposedly taken of Naomi Parker in 1942 in California, although for years it was said to be that of another woman, Geraldine Doyle.[7] At the time of the poster's release, the name "Rosie" was not associated with the picture;[8] that came after 1982 when the poster was rediscovered in the US National Archives.[9]


  1. ^ Doris Weatherford (16 October 2009). American Women during World War II: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 1181. ISBN 978-1-135-20189-0. 
  2. ^ Wong, Hannah Wai Ling (17 July 2007). A Riveting "Rosie": J. Howard Miller's We Can Do It! Poster and Twentieth Century American Visual Culture (M.A.). University of Maryland, College Park. 
  3. ^ "We Can Do It!". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Archived from the original on 11 July 2007. 
  4. ^ William H. Young; Nancy K. Young (2010). World War II and the Postwar Years in America: A-I. ABC-CLIO. p. 528. ISBN 978-0-313-35652-0. 
  5. ^ Susan Doyle; Jaleen Grove; Whitney Sherman (22 February 2018). History of Illustration. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 353–. ISBN 978-1-5013-4211-0. 
  6. ^ Fisher, Jacquelyn Felix; Goodman, E. W. (2009). The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Arcadia Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 0738565547. 
  7. ^ "Naomi Parker Fraley, the real-life Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96". Today. January 29, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018. 
  8. ^ Lucas, Dean (2007). "Famous Pictures Magazine - We Can Do It". Famous Pictures Magazine. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  9. ^ Cushing, Lincoln; Drescher, Tim. "Rosie the Riveter is not the same as We Can Do It". Retrieved 2009-07-30. 

External links[edit]