Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cartoonist J M Staniforth: "I had smashed the hun with cartoons"

If you lived in Wales during the first part of the last century, you knew who JM Staniforth was. 

He was the Thomas Nast of the First World War.

Professor Chris Williams of Swansea University has received a grant to digitize 1,300 of Staniforth's editorial cartoons. This will be a small, but representational portion of the some 15,000 cartoons he created while cartooning for the Western Mail.

"He reflected society back to his audience in terms they'd identify with, and as such they're a little window on the culture at the time. If he is illustrating the prime minister as a music hall artist, he is making assumptions about what the audience can understand. 
"There are a lot of raw materials for social historians in the presumed knowledge of the time, and his World War One work in particular is revealing of how attitudes changed through the course of the conflict."

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