During the course of my research on the history of the party election poster, I have identified some interesting ways in which the parties used children.
By looking at a single object – in this case children – we can track the temporal shifts in the meaning of symbols. We can also come to some understanding about how posters reflect or inject meaning into the most mundane of objects – in the past I have looked at pipes.
As I show, images of children can play a number of roles but one of increasing importance is helping parties – or so they clearly think – appeal to women: when a child is in view a mother is usually not far behind. In contrast men as fathers are almost completely absent in political iconograpy.
I have curated an exhibition of political posters for the People’s History Museum, which will be opened by Matthew Parris on 11th November – more of which in due course.