Monday, February 27, 2012

Every Fit Woman

Unknown Artist, "Every Fit Woman Can Release a Fit Man," ca. 1917-18. © IWM (Art.IWM PST 4881)
It's always so great to find an archival item just brimful of energy. This poster jumped out at me for exactly that reason amid a more general search of the Imperial War Museum's great Collections Database. The image features a bright and confident young woman waving to the (presumably) female viewer, as if to summon her over to the ranks of the many happy and hearty looking ladies assembled behind her. The billowing British flag adds to a feeling of motion and dynamism here. The uniformed bodies that touch one another to form a more unified mass of Women's Army Auxiliary Corps members convey integrity and solidified strength. With such a cheerful and compelling figure to welcome us, how could we resist the call to "release a fit man" for service? 

For readers inspired by the above image, the IWM's "Women's War Work During the First World War" site is an excellent resource. It's full of information and artifacts illustrating many aspects of women's experience and service.

© Fiona Robinson

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