Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

Walter Crane:

103) Cartoons for the Cause - Designs and verses for the Socialist and Labour Movement 1886-1896.

London 1896 / 1976

A facsimile reprint of the edition of 1896 with a preface by the popular English publicist John Betjeman. It was limited to 500 copies.

“The designs here collected (...) cover the period from summer 1885 (...) to the present year (1896), marked by the International Socialist and Trade Union congress, which is commemorated in the opening Cartoon. The Cartoons therefore are associated with the movement during the last ten years – a period of remarkable progress in the knowledge and spread of Socialistic ideas.” (Walter Crane) This selection of Crane’s interventionist designs, which would prove to be influential for the development of socialist art worldwide, was assembled from various socialist journals, mainly “Justice” and “The Commonweal”. The latter was the magazine of the Socialist League, which was formed in 1884 by William Morris, Walter Crane, Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling. In Germany Crane’s cartoons had been reprinted in the socialist satire magazine Der wahre Jacob. They had an immediate impact on Martin Anderson’s biting Cartoons Social and Political and also on the designs of Art Young, the famous American cartoonist of The Masses and The Liberator.

“The origins of Crane´s style can be found in the designs that Linton contributed to late Chartist publications such as Harney’s Red Republican and his own English Republic, a linear style that combined a Blakean sinuosity with the French influences of 1848.” (Anne F. Janowitz) Moreover, the verses which accompany most of the designs reveal Crane’s close examination of Linton’s interventionist prose and poetry.

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