Art Fund Popular Portraits Collection. Photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London
by Arnold Machin, for Wedgwood and Bentley
transfer relief moulded ceramic mug, 1941
4 3/8 in. x 4 7/8 in. (110 mm x 125 mm) overall
Purchased with help from The Art Fund, 2019
Sitterback to top
- Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), Prime Minister. Sitter in 222 portraits.
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
This mug was made in 1941 for the American export market in order to raise support for the USA entering the Second World War. It is one half of a pair; the other features American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On the body and base of the mugs are extracts from speeches made by the two statesmen. Churchill’s comes from his famous 'we shall fight them on the beaches' speech of 4 June 1940. Explore this portrait from all angles.
Events of 1941back to top
Current affairsThe Blitz continues with sustained Luftwaffe attacks on British cities. As the bombing went on the urban population got used to the black out, the air raid sirens and nights spent in shelter. The idea emerged (to some extent a myth) of the 'spirit of the Blitz' where people pulled together united, disregarding traditional class and social divisions.
Art and scienceFrank Whittle demonstrates the first test-flight of a plane powered by jet propulsion. Although the German, Hans von Ohain, built the first jet plane, Whittle was the first to patent a design for the jet engine (in 1930), and his subsequent work helped to advance the technology and made Britain leaders in the field.
InternationalThe Soviet Union and America join the Allies. The Soviet Union was forced to switch sides after Hitler attacked in June 1941, reneging the Soviet-Nazi pact. Six months later the US Navy was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbour. The following day the USA declared war on Japan, and three days later Germany and Italy declared war on America.
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