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Emmeline Pankhurst

14 of 15 portraits of Emmeline Pankhurst

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Emmeline Pankhurst

by Olive Edis
sepia-toned platinotype on photographer's card mount, 1920s
6 in. x 3 7/8 in. (153 mm x 99 mm)
Given by (Mary) Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy), 1948
Photographs Collection
NPG x4332

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • 100 Portraits, p. 98
  • Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 198 Read entry

    Brought up in a large, politically active family on the outskirts of Manchester, Emmeline Pankhurst was acutely aware from an early age of the inequalities faced by women. Shortly after leaving school she began working for the suffrage movement, during which time she met and married the barrister and political activist Richard Pankhurst. After the death of her husband in 1898, she became convinced that socialist movements were ill-equipped to fight for women’s suffrage. She therefore founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903, joined by her daughters Christabel, Sylvia and Adela. The WSPU initially campaigned peacefully, but Pankhurst gradually implemented a more aggressive approach. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, militant activities were suspended whilst the movement focused on assisting the war effort. In 1918 women over twenty-one years were given the vote. Pankhurst later worked for the Canadian government and stood as a parliamentary candidate. She died in 1928, one month before the 1918 bill was extended to give women the vote, on equal terms with men.

    Olive Edis (1897–1955) had studios in Farnham, Surrey and London, and was a pioneer of autochrome portraits.

Events of 1920back to top

Current affairs

The Government of Ireland Act (Fourth Home Rule Bill) partitions Ireland into the Irish Free State with a devolved parliament in Dublin and Northern Ireland with a devolved parliament in Belfast.
The Communist Party of Great Britain is founded in London, uniting a number of independent socialist and Marxist parties into a single, united party.

Art and science

Queen Alexandra unveils a monument to Edith Cavell in St Martin's Place opposite the National Portrait Gallery. The English nurse was executed in Germany for helping hundreds of allied soldiers to cross the border from occupied Belgium to the neutral Netherlands.
George V officially opens the Imperial War Museum at the Crystal Palace.

International

The Kapp Putsch threatens the newly formed Weimar Republic. In defiance of the Treaty of Versailles, the leaders of the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt refused to disband and marched on Berlin, occupying it on the 13th March. With the general army refusing to defend the city, the government fled to Stuttgart. The rebellion, however, failed after the workers joined a general strike, disabling their plans.

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