BOYCOTT THE CIRCUS! IT'S CRUEL - ORIGINAL POSTER
"Boycott the Circus! It's Cruel" - this mid-century poster is a powerful piece of propaganda from the Performing Animals Defence League. Produced around the same time that circus groups such as Robert Bros were pasting up posters advertising acts such as 'Sidney the Boxing Kangaroo' and almost all circus groups incorporated a zoo element into their performance with lions, elephants and even crocodiles being top of the bill.
The Performing Animals Defence League was founded in 1914. Judging by the four digit telephone numbers in the small print along the bottom of this poster, this piece was probably printed in the 1950s-'60s. The typography and design is strikingly simple and the slightly mis-aligned, rushed screen-printing is absolutely charming - the perfect representation of the passionate and hurried efforts that would have gone in to the poster's production. It'd have sat in stark contrast when pasted next to the richly coloured, highly detailed posters of the circus groups that this piece was campaigning against.
Obviously enough this piece is a rare survivor, it's printed onto very thin, newsprint grade paper and it was intended to be pasted to a wall after which it couldn't have been removed. It's been professionally framed using conservation grade backing board and is ready to hang.
Including the frame, the poster measures 80cm high x 54cm wide x 2cm deep.