'Once-in-a-lifetime' chance to see original iconic poster by Weston artist in his hometown

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 September 2018

Alfred Leete at work and his poster. Poster picture: Imperial War Museum

Alfred Leete at work and his poster. Poster picture: Imperial War Museum

Poster picture: Imperial War Museum

A 'nationally important' original work by a Weston-super-Mare artist will go on display in the town for the first - and possibly only - time in its history.

Your Country Needs You poster by Alfred Leete. Picture: Imperial War MuseumYour Country Needs You poster by Alfred Leete. Picture: Imperial War Museum

Weston Museum has secured the loan of the original Your Country Needs You poster, which features Lord Kitchener and was designed by Alfred Leete, who lived in Marine Parade as a child and went to school in the town.

The museum will unveil its exhibition Alfred Leete: The Man Behind The Icon on September 29, and it will tell the story of the artist who created one of the world’s most iconic posters.

John Crockford-Hawley, chairman of the museum and heritage sub-committee on Weston Town Council, said: “I think this will be the first time an important artwork of national significance has been loaned to Weston.

“It shows how much Weston Museum has advanced this past year since our £1.8million revamp.

Alfred Leete.Alfred Leete.

“Installing a high-grade secure gallery has been a sound cultural investment for the town. I look forward to announcing other important loans in the future.

“We are now a truly regional museum drawing in appreciative audiences from a considerable distance.”

The loan from the Imperial War Museum in London was made possible through the Weston Loan Programme With Art Fund.

Tom Mayberry, chief executive of the South West Heritage Trust, which has arranged the exhibition for the museum, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Alfred Leete’s most famous work on display in the creator’s home town.”

Mr Leete produced advertising campaigns for major companies throughout his career, and his cartoons captured the comedy of everyday life and politics.

All aspects of his work will be featured at the museum, in Burlington Street, but the poster is the centrepiece.

Cllr Crockford-Hawley added: “There cannot be many clubs and organisations which haven’t used Leete’s iconic poster to draw attention to their own events and this display in Weston Museum will afford everybody an opportunity to see the real thing.

“I doubt it will ever return and will probably never again leave its home in the Imperial War Museum.

“Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Leete’s work at home here in Weston.”

The exhibition will run until January 1 and the museum is open from 10am-5pm every day.

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