Artist discovered?

Courtesy of the People’s History Museum


I’ve written about the above poster before. It’s a striking design from 1910; the boldness of the central image marked out by a thick black line from the custard background. The piercing grey/blue eyes of ‘The House of Lords’, contrasts with the wit of ‘the people[’s]’ quiff. They all combine to create something of an ocular feast. The only thing lacking in the poster is a signature. I have no idea who designed it. A couple of days ago, however, someone put me on to a collection of posters in the Mundaneum in Belgium. You can see one, among the institution’s many examples, below. It is a Conservative poster mocking H.H. Asquith, Liberal Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916. The poster simply asks ‘where is’ the cheap bread Asquith promised. The similarities between it and THE GLUTTON! are striking. The familiar layouts with their central image on a single block of colour, the – for want of a better term – fleshiness of the skin, and that thick black out-line. WHERE IS IT? is signed E Huskinson. This is Edward, a cartoonist, editor of Tatler from 1908 to1940 and regular poster designer for the Conservative party. But THE GLUTTON! is a poster for the Budget League, a pressure group linked both ideologically and through its leadership with the Liberal party. Was Huskinson designing posters for both sides in the years before 1910? I have never before found an artist working for two opposing parties, indeed, many were overtly partisan; but this didn’t mean it didn’t happen.  Is THE GLUTTON! a Huskinson design? Was he conducting work for both parties? Any thoughts?


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