Posters from the Empire Marketing Board

Exploring the legacy of empire through the posters of the Empire Marketing Board

Native Chiefs in Palaver - Takoradi Harbour, by G Spencer Pryse, 1928The Empire Marketing Board poster collection represents one of the more challenging and fascinating areas of the gallery's collections.  

Created during the 1920s and '30s to promote trade and understanding between empire countries, the posters present a view of the British Empire that, from today's perspective, is often uncomfortable.  Although visually stunning, the posters contain images that would today be considered offensive. As a product of their time, they raise difficult questions about the legacy of empire.

We are researching this collection in partnership with with Manchester Metropolitan University.  Although research is at an early stage, it has already shown that this little-known collection contains fascinating and far-reaching histories. Over the next three years a researcher will work with gallery staff, historians and the wider Manchester community to build an understanding of what these posters mean today.

For more detailed information go to Propaganda, Pride and Prejudice.

Browse the poster collection online.