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Women Labour MPs

4 of 19 portraits of Jennie Lee

Women Labour MPs, by Unknown photographer, 1929 - NPG x30000 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Women Labour MPs

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1929
5 5/8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (143 mm x 192 mm)
Purchased, 1986
Photographs Collection
NPG x30000

Artistback to top

Sittersback to top

  • Ethel Bentham (1861-1931), Doctor, politician and sufragette; MP for Islington East. Sitter in 1 portrait.
  • Margaret Grace Bondfield (1873-1953), Politician; MP for Wallsend, Northampton and first woman cabinet minister. Sitter in 8 portraits.
  • Mary Agnes Hamilton (née Adamson) (1882-1966), Politician, writer and broadcaster. Sitter in 3 portraits.
  • (Arabella) Susan Lawrence (1871-1947), Politician; MP for East Ham North. Sitter in 3 portraits.
  • Janet ('Jennie') Lee, Baroness Lee of Asheridge (1904-1988), Labour politician; MP for Cannock and North Lanarkshire and Minister for the Arts; wife of Aneurin Bevan. Sitter in 33 portraits.
  • Lady Cynthia Blanche Mosley (née Curzon) (1898-1933), Society figure and Labour politician; MP for Stoke; first wife of Sir Oswald Mosley; daughter of 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston. Sitter in 2 portraits.
  • Marion Phillips (1881-1932), Labour politician; MP for Sunderland. Sitter in 3 portraits.
  • Edith Picton-Turbervill (1872-1960), Social reformer, writer and politician; MP for The Wrekin. Sitter in 8 portraits.
  • Ellen Cicely Wilkinson (1891-1947), Labour politician; MP for Middlesbrough East and Jarrow, Minister for Education and Parliamentary Private Secretary. Sitter in 33 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Front row, left to right: Lady Cynthia Mosley (1898-1933), Miss Susan Lawrence (1871-1947), the Rt. Hon. Margaret Bondfield (1873-1953), Miss Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947), Miss Jennie Lee (1904-1988)
Back row: Dr. Marion Phillips (1881-1932), Miss Edith Picton-Turberville (1872-1960), Dr. Ethel Bentham (1861-1931), Miss Mary Agnes Hamilton (1882-1966).
This photograph was taken to mark the first election following the introduction of universal suffrage in 1928. Among the MPs photographed are the first woman cabinet minister (Margaret Bondfield), the future leader of the Jarrow marchers (Ellen Wilkinson) and the founding spirit of the Open University (Jennie Lee).

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Owen, Elizabeth, Fashion in Photographs 1920-1940, 1993, p. 55

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1929back to top

Current affairs

The first election held under universal suffrage is a victory for Labour. Ramsay Macdonald returned for his second term as Prime Minster, and appointed Margaret Grace Bondfield as the first woman Cabinet Minister.

Art and science

Two classic books about the First World War are published: All Quiet on the Western Front, by war veteran, Erich Maria Remarque, tells of the horrors of war and the returning German soldiers' feelings of detachment from civilian life; while Robert Grave's autobiography Goodbye to All That, aimed to describe the author's experiences of the war so that they 'need never be thought about again'.


The 24th October 1929 becomes known as Black Thursday when the US Stock Exchange Collapses and millions are lost. The event was the start of the Wall Street Crash, which in turn contributed towards the Great Depression: a major international recession that lasted through most of the 1930s.

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