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National Museum of Australia

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Colour poster with the caption Buy New Zealand honey, issued by the Empire Marketing Board


Colour poster with the caption Buy New Zealand honey, issued by the Empire Marketing Board

Object information

Physical description

A colour poster depicting a kiwi standing in the centre on a cream background with text in green and yellow reading "BUY / NEW ZEALAND / HONEY" below it. Below the text is a circular symbol in green with EMB in it. "Issued by the Empire Marketing Board" is printed at the bottom of the poster. A small sticky label on the back has a barcode and a number on it.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of three colour lithographic posters designed by Frederick C. Herrick and one colour poster designed by Archibald Bertram Webb for the Empire Marketing Board. The EMB was established in 1926 by the British Government to promote the products of the British Empire within the United Kingdom. It is now perhaps best known for its publication of some 800 different poster and postcard designs, mainly for viewing by the British public through display on public hoardings and buildings, and in shop windows and some schools. The three posters by Herrick in the NMA collections feature a lion, a kangaroo with joey and a kiwi (symbolising Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand respectively) and slogans exhorting the public to 'BUY HOME-GROWN CANNED FRUITS' ('British' lion poster); 'BUY AUSTRALIAN SULTANAS' (kangaroo poster); and 'BUY NEW ZEALAND HONEY' (kiwi poster). The Webb poster is a print of a colour woodcut of a worker tending an irrigated crop, captioned 'Irrigating current vines, Australia'.

These posters are highly significant historical artefacts, recording not only commercial art trends and the emergence of modern mass media, but the use of that media in a sophisticated peacetime government propaganda campaign. They are early examples of 'brand Australia' and the definition of the nation as a market. Designed by a English artist and and English immigrant to Australia, they also contribute to the iconography of the kangaroo and illustrate other understandings of Australia and its inhabitants by those living beyond its shores.

Object information


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