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A Queen and Her Country February 9, 2014

Posted by J. Hawkes in Art, News.
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The Diefenbaker Canada Centre at the University of Saskatchewan has unveiled a new exhibit (the opening of which they were kind enough to invite me to) entitled a Queen and Her Country. This is a wonderful exhibit of our long reigning sovereign’s role in Canada including many extremely valuable artefacts. I strongly recommend that everyone come and see this new exhibit on loan at the Diefenbaker Centre before it returns to Ontario.



Famous Kitchener poster from the Great War a ‘myth’ August 13, 2013

Posted by J. Hawkes in Art, Military.
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It seems that the famous poster of Lord Kitchener, pointing at you and saying that ‘your country needs you’ which has inspired countless imitation by so many others (particularily the American’s Uncle Sam) is actually a myth as it was not a poster but a magazine cover.

“In his new book, Your Country Needs You, Mr Taylor traced the picture back to   its origins, on 5th September 1914, barely a month after the start of the   war.

On that day, the image was used on the front cover of the popular magazine   London Opinion, beneath the masthead, and alongside two promotional offers:   “This paper insures you for £1,000” and “50 photographs of YOU for a   shilling”.

It had been designed by Alfred Leete, a graphic artist, who had adapted a   portrait of Kitchener to give him the distinctive pointing finger. The   slogan was adapted from the official call to arms, which said: “Your King   and Country Need You”.

In a subsequent edition, a week later, the magazine, which had a circulation   of almost 300,000, said readers would be able to buy postcards of the image   for 1s. 4d for 100.

Despite this, Mr Taylor has not been able to track down any surviving examples   in public or private collections. He is now offering a £100 reward for   anyone who can find the first.

Mr Taylor, who will present his research at an event at the National Army   Museum, west London, next month, found that the original artwork for the   magazine was acquired by the Imperial War Museum in 1917 and was mistakenly   catalogued as part of the poster collection, contributing to later   misunderstanding about its use.

“There has been a mass, collective misrecollection. The image’s influence now   is absolutely out of all kilter with the reality of its initial impact. It   has taken on a new kind of life. It is such a good image and saying that it   was later seized upon. Some many historians and books have used it and kept   repeating how influential it was, that people have come to accept it…””

Mr Taylor’s book shows how the Kitchener image did inspire similar posters,   which were used, including one, which was produced by LO, with the word   BRITONS, above the same picture of the Field Marshal pointing, with the   words “wants YOU – Join Your Country’s Army!”, beneath, and the words ‘God   Save The King’ printed along the bottom.

However, Mr Taylor said there was no evidence the poster was particularly   popular or a dominant design of the war, as some historians have claimed.

The only occasion in which the image and the wording did appear in poster form   was an elaborate design, when the words and picture appear, in a smaller   scale, below five flags and surrounded by details or rates of pay and other   information, including the additional slogan – “Your Country is Still   Calling. Fighting Men! Fall In!!”. The effect is very different from the   image of popular imagination and again, Mr Taylor found no evidence it was   particularly widespread or popular at the time.

He found that the most popular poster of the era, in terms of numbers   produced, did feature Kitchener, but without the pointing finger and   featuring a 30-word extract from a speech he had made.”

Mr. Taylor’s new book Your Country Needs You does sound fascinating. But then I quite like First World War poster design, although most of them had far too much text, the reduction of ‘chattyness’ was a definite improvement in Second World War poster art, although I personally feel that the Canadian posters of the Second World War were far too standardised and government controlled, generally lacking in the vitality of First World War posters.


Royal Line of Succession August 3, 2013

Posted by J. Hawkes in Art.
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I want to let you know of a an exceptionally beautiful heraldic rendition of the Royal Line of Succession from the reign of William the Conqueror to the present. I strongly encourage everyone to peruse the site, as the picture is simply stunning.  Although not currently updated for Prince George Alexander Louis, I have been assured that he will be making an updated version.

It is not only æsthetically pleasing, but educational as well, clearly displaying the royal line down through the past millennium, and also displaying the evolution of the coats of arms.


A Diamond Jubilee Statue for Saskatoon? July 11, 2013

Posted by J. Hawkes in Art, News.
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The Queen’s 60th Anniversary Statue project hopes to ensure that quality bronze statues of Her Majesty shall grace the towns and cities of her dominions all across the world. The statue has been carved by James Butler RA, one of Britain’s foremost sculptors, who has sculpted many statues seen throughout London and has also carved the Great Seal of the Realm.

Although it would be rather expensive, and may be difficult to justify in this troubled economic climate, nonetheless, the Queen is more deserving of commemoration in bronze than almost anyone. Furthermore I believe it would be of lasting benefit to the culture and æsthetic qualities of any town or city that acquired one. But what do think?


To cite directly from the website:

The Aim

“HM Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign has conferred a great continuity throughout times of unprecedented change. We believe that this quality will be best represented by a statue which will be the definitive and immediately recognisable image, one which is fit to stand alongside past monarchical icons.

“Our aim is for cities, towns and institutions around the UK and in the Commonwealth to be able to endow their public spaces with a statue which will undoubtedly become a much-photographed and appreciated new landmark, and in time a familiar and much-valued centrepoint within individual local and urban settings throughout the Commonwealth.

“And at a time of great concern about public fragmentation and the need for social cohesion, the statue will represent an enduring expression of the vital role of the Queen as an impartial symbol of national unity.

The Statue

“The statue is inspired by the famous 1954 and 1969 portraits of the Queen by Pietro Annigoni. Her Majesty is shown in full Garter robes.

“The statues will be cast in 100% bronze. They will be exactly the same as the maquette and will be available in three different sizes: Half life-size, Life-size and Double life-size and prices, which, naturally may vary with the cost of metal and casting, will range from between £20,000 to £75,000 for a full preparation of cast and finishing. Please contact us directly to learn more about the pricing structure and costs.

Peter Whittle

The New Culture Forum 55 Tufton Street London SW1P 3QL Tel: 020-7340-6059 Email: enquiries@queenjubileestatue.co.uk

(A nod to former Toronto Branch Chairman Rafal Heydel-Mankoo who brought this to my attention http://www.bloggingyoungfogey.blogspot.ca/2013/06/the-queens-60th-anniversary-statue.html )