London: exhibition of 19th century Chartist workers’ leaders’ portraits


This music video from Britain says about itself:

The Chartist Anthem is a song sung by Chumbawamba. The song dates from the 1840’s and is about the campaign by working men for the vote.

By Gary Lamont:

Exhibition of Chartist leaders at the National Portrait Gallery

Rab MacGibbon, the curator of an exhibition about the Chartists, spoke to Socialist Worker

The Chartist movement of the mid-19th century was the first attempt to build a political party representing the working class.

Central to the movement was the radical newspaper the Northern Star.

In 1839, the paper sold 50,000 copies a week, rivalling the circulation of the Times.

The left wing Chartist leader Feargus O’Connor used the paper to build the influence of the radical wing of the movement.

As part of this, he commissioned a series of portraits.

Some of the portraits are on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

“This display reassembles ten portrait engravings produced for an innovative subscription offer for the Northern Star newspaper,” says Rab MacGibbon, the exhibition’s curator.

“The prints of Chartist leaders represented a powerful tool for developing a shared understanding of the movement among its supporters.

For O’Connor, it enabled him to promote his own vision of Chartism at the same time as boosting the circulation of his paper.

4 thoughts on “London: exhibition of 19th century Chartist workers’ leaders’ portraits

  1. Pingback: The contradictions of 19th century British painter John Everett Millais | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Black British fighter against slavery and for workers, Robert Wedderburn, 1762-1835 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Welsh actor Michael Sheen and Chartism history | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: British Chartism in the nineteenth century | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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