Views and crafts of Buckinghamshire, Women's Institute banner design, 1937, (1943)
Views and crafts of Buckinghamshire, Women's Institute banner design, 1937, (1943). 'Page painted by a member of a Buckinghamshire Women's Institute', showing a lace-maker; a chair 'bodger'; wildlife; a Windsor wheel-back chair; Monk's Risborough; The Guildhall, High Wycombe; John Milton's cottage, Chalfont St Giles; beech trees; the Whiteleaf Cross at Prince's Risborough. 'From a book illuminated by members of Women's Institutes and presented to their Chairman, Lady Denman, June 1937'. The Women's Institute (WI) was formed in Britain 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. The organisation broadened its aims to provide women with educational opportunities, learn new skills, take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on social issues that matter to them and their communities. It is non-sectarian and non-party political, and is the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK. Published in "Women's Institutes', by Cicely McCall. [Collins, London, 1943]
© The Print Collector/Heritage Images
Stately home, birthday card, 1952. Creator: Shirley Markham
Stately home, birthday card, 1952. Design for a card with swans on an ornamental pond in front of a mansion. Shirley Markham (1931-1999) studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central School of Art in London from 1950-1952. The writer, artist, poet, and illustrator Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was one of her tutors, and her style of drawing was also influenced by other British illustrators such as Edward Ardizzone, Quentin Blake and Edward Bawden. Markham spent time in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy, and also visited Rome, sketching classical buildings. After graduating from Central, she worked as a graphic designer, producing book illustrations, cartoons for comics, menus and programmes. She gave up her promising career however when she got married in 1957. Middle-class women at that time were expected to devote their energies to bringing up children and running the home, and despite her obvious talent, she lacked the confidence to return to illustration. Her portfolio remained in the family attic for many years, but now her work is published here for the first time.
© Shirley Markham Collection / Heritage-Images
Swan upping on the Thames, 20th century. Artist: Unknown
Swan upping on the Thames, 20th century. Swan upping is an annual ceremonial census of mute swans on the River Thames that dates from the 12th century. Traditionally the swans were the property of the monarch, for whom they were a source of food, but a Royal Charter issued in the 15th century entitled the Vintners' and Dyers' Companies of the City of London to a share of the ownership. The swans are rounded up, marked and released every year in the third week of July.
© Historica Graphica Collection / Heritage-Images