A fantastic opportunity to witness original artwork from an important milestone in British history – Swansea Museum’s Great War Posters Exhibition is definitely worth a visit this summer.
With 31 posters on display, the exhibition provides a fascinating insight into propaganda and campaign methods used throughout the conflict.
The display begins at the outbreak of the war in 1914, when the enlistment campaigns were the overriding priority. To encourage young men to sign up and fight for their country, the posters were designed to appeal to their patriotic and moral values and sense of adventure.
As the exhibition progresses towards the conclusion of the conflict in 1918, there is a noticeable change in the tone and style of propaganda which takes on a new sense of urgency. There is also a dramatic shift in the key messages from the British Government, with the need to conserve food and encouragement of war fund contributions taking priority.
It’s difficult to pick from such an excellent display, but our highlights must include the instantly recognisable poster featuring John Bull, with the Union Flag blazoned across his stomach; the early poster with a striking image of Britannia remembering the sinking of the Lusitania; and the localised Welsh posters carrying messages for St. David’s Day.
The posters add a fascinating new dimension to the museum’s main World War One exhibition and are well worth a visit – you won’t be disappointed!
The exhibition runs until 27th September. Admission is free.
The Great War Posters exhibition at Swansea Museum is a South West Wales Museums’ joint initiative between the councils of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Swansea with funding and support from CyMAL and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This post is also available in: Welsh