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Heritage was central to Chartism - Britain's civil rights movement. The Chartists campaigned for democratic and social rights for working people in the 1830s & 40s. Built in part around an imagined pantheon of heroes mostly from the radical past, this curation recreates what the walls of a Chartist home might have looked like. This is far from counterfactual. Although working people would not have been able to afford expensive paintings, we know that the movement produced merchandise, which included engraved portraits of radical heroes, mainly from the previous fifty years of British history. There were some notable omissions: it was a pantheon overwhelmingly dominated by men, mostly gentlemen, and it was uniformly white.

12 artworks
Thomas Paine
Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Paine c.1876

Auguste Millière (c.1822–after 1904)

Oil on canvas

H 40.6 x W 30.5 cm

National Portrait Gallery, London

William Cobbett
Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

William Cobbett c.1831

George Cooke (1781–1834) (possibly)

Oil on canvas

H 91.4 x W 71.1 cm

National Portrait Gallery, London

John Cartwright (1740–1824)
Photo credit: Bradford Museums and Galleries

John Cartwright (1740–1824) early 19th C

British (English) School

Oil on canvas

H 76 x W 63.5 cm

Bradford Museums and Galleries

Henry Hunt, MP for Preston
Photo credit: Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library

Henry Hunt, MP for Preston early 19th C

unknown artist

Oil on canvas

H 82 x W 69.3 cm

Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library

Robert Emmet (1778–1803)
Photo credit: The Royal College of Surgeons of England

Robert Emmet (1778–1803)

James Petrie (c.1745–1819) (attributed to)

Oil on canvas

H 59 x W 49.2 cm

The Royal College of Surgeons of England

Thomas Muir (1765–1799)
© the artist. Photo credit: East Dunbartonshire Council

Thomas Muir (1765–1799) 2003

Alexander Stoddart (b.1959)

Plaster

East Dunbartonshire Council

William Tell
Photo credit: By permission of Dulwich Picture Gallery

William Tell before 1811

Peter Francis Bourgeois (1756–1811)

Oil on canvas

H 76.8 x W 110.2 cm

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Joseph Rayner Stephens (1805–1879)
Photo credit: Tameside Museums and Galleries Service: The Astley Cheetham Art Collection

Joseph Rayner Stephens (1805–1879) 1839

Ben Garside

Oil on canvas

H 112 x W 86 cm

Tameside Museums and Galleries Service: The Astley Cheetham Art Collection

Richard Oastler (1789–1861)
Photo credit: Kirklees Museums and Galleries

Richard Oastler (1789–1861)

Ben Garside

Oil on canvas

H 36 x W 27.5 cm

Kirklees Museums and Galleries

Samuel Holberry (1814–1842)
Photo credit: Museums Sheffield

Samuel Holberry (1814–1842) 1842

unknown artist

Plaster

H 70 x W 44 x D 24 cm

Museums Sheffield

Feargus O'Connor (1796–1855), MP
Photo credit: Akhtar Khan / Art UK

Feargus O'Connor (1796–1855), MP 1859

Joseph Barlow Robinson (1820–1883)

Sandstone

H 170 x W 147 x D 71 cm

The Opening of the Chartists' Meeting House, Hyde
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Tameside Museums and Galleries Service: The Astley Cheetham Art Collection

The Opening of the Chartists' Meeting House, Hyde

Harry Rutherford (1903–1985)

Oil on canvas

H 59.7 x W 90.6 cm

Tameside Museums and Galleries Service: The Astley Cheetham Art Collection