? [The Question Mark]

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM PST 3242
Art and Popular Design
Production date
Place made
Subject period
  • Support: paper
  • medium: lithograph
  • Support: Height 511 mm, Width 383 mm
  • Frame: Depth 20 mm, Height 762 mm, Width 562 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: Poster

© IWM (Art.IWM PST 3242)

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Object description

image: An ape-like monster, wearing a German pickelhaube emerges from the right to grasp the globe. The monster's blood- soaked hands drip symbolically over Europe. text: ? Issued by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia. Chas.Steele and Co., Melbourne.


This poster was one of six Lindsay designed for the last recruiting campaign carried out by the Government of Australia during the First World War. Australia is shown to be vulnerable to the colonising ambitions of the Kaiser and Germany. It seems that the further from the threat, the more brutal the recruiting propaganda became. On a prearranged night the poster, was pasted up on every available site. In a tightly coordinated operation, it was to be followed at intervals of seven to ten days by ‘Be Quick’, ‘God Bless Daddy’, ‘Will you Fight?’, ‘The Last Call’ and ‘Fall in’. Simultaneously an appropriate mailing notice was sent to each eligible man. However, the armistice was signed before the last two posters were issued. Born in Victoria, Australia, Lindsay started work as a cartoonist, becoming chief cartoonist on the ‘Sydney Bulletin’, before broadening his output to prints and paintings. He wrote in the preface to his book ‘Norman Lindsay’s Selected Pen Drawings (published in 1968) ‘A country that kills the killer in man will be destroyed by any other country which has preserved the instinct to kill.’







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