The humour, pride and propaganda of First World War Christmas cards sent home from soldiers fighting on the front line one hundred years ago have gone on show as part of Christmas at York Castle Museum.
Faye Prior, collections facilitator at York Museums Trust commented that “Regimental cards were not new to the First World War, but the growth of the regiments and the recruitment of Kitcheners’ new armies meant the market for regimental cards grew exponentially. These cards often portrayed the dark humour and 'stiff upper lip' attitude which were strongly associated with British trench warfare.
Cards were also produced by German prisoner of war camps, to try to convince British families that imprisoned soldiers were being treated well. In both cases the cards portrayed images that each side wanted to put into the public domain, disguising the horror many were actually experiencing.”
British Bull Dogs, “Somme Pudding” and a “Father Christmas” delivering alcohol all feature on the Regimental cards which were professionally printed, and would have been sold to soldiers all over the world.
York Castle Museum
Eye of York
York YO1 9RY
Ephemera 35: The Sporting Life
20 - 22 March 2015
The thirty-fifth annual conference of the Ephemera Society of America will take place on Friday, and, on Saturday and Sunday, the finest Ephemera Fair in America, featuring incomparable material and exceptional dealers. Accented with an auction, a banquet, and a book signing, it will be a feast for the mind and heart. Collectors, dealers, academics, students, and even youngsters, will be treated to a wealth of scholarship and ephemera.
The Sporting Life will examine various sports, games, pastimes, and entertaining activities, with the use of historic ephemera. Our speakers are notable scholars, adept at sharing entertaining and historic perspectives, including the effect of changing cultural values, developing printing techniques, and the influences of travel and literature.
The banquet speaker will be UK Ephemera Society member Adrian Seville. His after-dinner presentation will explore the history of the Game of Goose, the most significant race game ever invented, in that it has spawned literally thousands of variants across the countries of continental Europe.
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Documents from the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp
Until 1 March 2015
Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp was a 19-year anti-nuclear protest and encampment at the U.S. Military Base at Greenham Common, Berkshire County, England. This exhibition and event series, organized as a mother/daughter collaboration between Susan Jahoda and Emma Jahoda-Brown, assembles accounts of the comings and goings and daily lives of a diverse group of women at Greenham primarily over a nine year period.
Women traveled to Greenham Common from all over the world and supported the movement from their own geographic regions, marking it as the largest women’s campaign since the early twentieth century struggle for suffrage.
131 8th Street — #4
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front
Until 8 March 2015
This major exhibition reveals the untold story of London’s Home Front during the First World War; how drivers took their buses to the Front to support the war effort, how women advanced into the transport workforce for the first time and how Londoners came under deadly attack from the air as total war came to the Capital.
Highlights for the ephemerist include First World War recruitment posters, rarely seen propaganda posters specially designed to be displayed in army billets overseas as a reminder of home.
London Transport Museum
Covent Garden Piazza
London WC2E 7BB
Waterloo: Life & Times
27 January - 10 May 2015
2015 marks the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and what better way to honour the occasion than an exhibition celebrating this tumultuous period in Europe’s history and its associated heroes (and villains!)
Waterloo: Life & Time will feature fans and fan leaves designed to commemorate significant military campaigns, battles and victories associated with the period leading up to (and following) the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, at which the French were finally defeated by the Allied armies after twenty three years of fighting.
The exhibition will include fans printed with portraits of heroic figures like Nelson and Wellington and fan leaves printed in England but destined for the overseas markets, such as those celebrating the accession to the throne of the Spanish King, Ferdinand VII. Napoleon Bonaparte and his troops, too, feature: depicted often in typically defiant mood on French propaganda fan designs.
Away from the ‘battle action’ the social scene at this time revolved around glittering balls and assemblies – events at which ladies carried elegant fans decorated with a plethora of sequins and delicately painted with classically themed vignettes; visitors can expect to see a glittering array of such styles dating c. 1800 - 1820. Interweaving historical narratives with fashion and decorative art objects, the exhibition offers a unique perspective on a period often overlooked in popular fan historiographies.
The Fan Museum
12 Crooms Hill
London SE10 8ER
Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus: A life of a Pioneering Aviator
Until 11 September 2015
Sir Alan Cobham was a pioneering long distance aviator and technical innovator who became famous for his exploits in the interwar years by making aviation accessible and popular throughout the world.
He learnt to fly while in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and later went on to set many long distance aviation records.
These include becoming the first person to fly from London to Cape Town and back in 1926 for which he received the Air Force Cross, and in the same year to be the first person to fly from London to Australia and back, for which he was knighted by King George V.
Sir Alan Cobham also organised a series of flying tours of the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa which became affectionately known as ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus’. These tours promoted aviation to the public and were a source of inspiration for countless pilots in the Second World War.
RAF Museum London
Grahame Park Way
London NW9 5LL
Until 12 March 2015
London Gothic is a free exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives, and is a must see for anyone interested in the history of the London - uncovering rare and fascinating documents from the dark shadows of the capital.
From terrible crimes to gruesome legends, London has long been the backdrop to horrifying tales which quickly take root in popular imagination. Through court records which date back to the 17th century, explore dreadful crimes and brutal punishments, from witch trials and alleged hauntings to the spectacle of public execution at Tyburn (the west end of Oxford Street today).
This exhibition digs into the depths of London’s archives to present documents and images which record both fact and fiction, including manuscripts put on public display for the first time including posters and advertisements of 18th and 19th century ‘sideshows’ including ‘The Beautiful Tiger Lady’, ‘The Tattooed Man’ and ‘The Giant Yorkshire Youth’, the exhibition will also feature a newly created version of the grisly ‘mermaid’ displayed at the Turf Coffee House, St James’s Street in 1822.
Along with notable gothic buildings in London, visitors will see the extraordinary plans for a burial pyramid planned for Primrose Hill in the early 19th century. Holding five million bodies in a pyramid 94 stories high, this would have been a London landmark to rival The Shard.
An exhibition exploring the life and work of the great British cartoonist Captain Bruce Bairnsfather.
Bairnsfather became world-famous during the First World War as creator of 'Old Bill', a walrus moustached old soldier who appeared in many of his cartoons depicting life on the frontline.
Published weekly in The Bystander magazine, his cartoons caught the imagination of the soldiers at war, and their families back home.
Bairnsfather became a household name and published volumes of his cartoons sold over a million copies. The soldier-artist's immense popularity led to his cartoons being reproduced on a wide range of merchandise, and Old Bill and his creator even became stars of stage and screen.