Records of the Artists' Suffrage League

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Correspondence, drawings, cartoons, prints, poster, postcard, programmes and their covers, notices press clippings, album of designs by Mary Lowndes.

Administrative / Biographical History

The period between 1903 and 1914 was one of resurgence in the women's suffrage movement. At this time, the methods by all those involved began to change: although the suffragists' efforts were mainly aimed at forming parliamentary opinion, they also began to engage in public demonstrations and other propaganda activities. The ASL was established in January 1907 in order to assist with the preparations for the 'Mud March' organised by the NUWSS in February of that year. However, it continued with the creation of suffrage propaganda for the NUWSS after this date. Other than the central committee of chairperson, vice-chair and treasurer, the organisation had no traditional formal structure or statement of aims. The body was responsible for the creation of a large number of posters, Christmas cards, postcards and banners designed by artists who included the chairperson Mary Lowndes, Emily Ford, Barbara Forbes, May H Barker, Clara Billing, Dora Meeson Coates, Violet Garrard, Bertha Newcombe, C Hedly Charlton and Emily J Harding. The ASL was responsible for the decoration of the Queens Hall for the celebrations in 1918 that had been organised by the NUWSS.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation. Intending readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Other Finding Aids

Handlist

Related Material

Posters created by members of the League are held in the Museum of London's collections, as well as in the Communist Party archives. The John Johnson Collection at the Bodleian Library also holds ASL postcards. The Women's Library holds related visual materials in the form of a collection of banners and posters. Correspondence with the London Society for Women's Suffrage 1911-12 is also held in the Women's Library, reference number GB 16 2/LSW.

Bibliography

Lisa Tickner The spectacle of women: imagery of the Suffrage Campaign 1907-14 (London, Chatto & Windus, 1987)