Your Britain - Fight for it Now (Health Centre)

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM PST 2911
Department
Art and Popular Design
Production date
1943
Place made
Great Britain
Subject period
Materials
  • Support: paper
  • medium: lithograph
Dimensions
  • Support: Height 504 mm, Width 745 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: Poster
Creator
Category
posters
IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUMS

© IWM (Art.IWM PST 2911)

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Object description

whole: the image fills the design. Text, in blue, is incorporated into the centre left part of the image. Further text, in white and yellow, is positioned in the bottom right. All is surrounded by a white border, which contains black text towards the bottom of the right edge. image: the image is divided into two. On the left a brick wall bears the image of a modern building complex, the Finsbury Health Centre. Behind and to the right is the ruined shell of a house, the word 'disease' written on the far wall and a sickly looking child playing with a toy boat in a puddle on the ground. This contrast is reflected in the background, which to the left is light green and blue, and to the right appears dark and stormy, with shades of black and red. text: YOUR BRITAIN FIGHT FOR IT NOW Modern medicine means the maintenance of good health and the prevention and early detection of disease. This is achieved by periodic medical examination at Centres such as the new Finsbury Health Centre, where modern methods are used.

Label

Along with two other similar posters on rehousing and education, this was designed by Games to be issued to the forces through the Army Bureau of Current Affairs. The poster's colours and its fusion of modern architecture and dilapidated playground in a single image show Games's familiarity with surrealist work by artists such as Dali and de Chiricio. This awareness of modern developments in art, coupled with the vision of a future urban Britain in which present evils would be righted, contrasts strongly with Frank Newbould's more traditional vision of a pastoral, almost historical Britain in his posters for the same series. It also put Games at loggerheads with Winston Churchill who objected to the representation of a child with rickets. As a result the poster was withdrawn after initial distribution to the army and display at Harrods Poster Exhibition, and copies were destroyed. Games worked for the War Office between 1941 and 1946, producing over 100 poster designs. His wartime work was outstanding, displaying superb technical mastery. He controlled every element of the design to serve the message, a message in which he strongly believed. In 1948 he wrote in 'Art and Industry', 'I felt strongly that the high purpose of the wartime posters was mainly responsible for their excellence'. The Finsbury Health Centre, designed by the Russian emigré Berthold Lubetkin in 1938 was built by the local council as a response to the urgent needs of the population. During the 1930s Finsbury was one of London's poorest boroughs, with appalling public health. The building was designed to deliver accessible health care and education.

Physical description

Single sheet, printed on one side only. Red pencil marks, bottom right on verso. One of a series of posters produced by the War Office, all bearing the same slogan.

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