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News > Alumni Events and News > Alumna Emma Mawdsley discusses Abram Games' groundbreaking exhibition

Alumna Emma Mawdsley discusses Abram Games' groundbreaking exhibition

Francis Holland School alumna and curator Emma Mawdsley (née Armstrong) at the National Army Museum
Class of 1988 alumna Emma Mawdsley (née Armstrong)
Class of 1988 alumna Emma Mawdsley (née Armstrong)
Chelsea’s National Army Museum is currently hosting a major exhibition by the seminal 20th century designer Abram Games. Titled ‘The art of persuasion’, the inspirational Games’ work as ‘official war poster artist’ during the Second World War highlights how he interpreted design as a tool for communication with soldiers, children, and later, civilians. Using his extraordinary artistic vision to create a series of images that could both manipulate and educate, Games also drew upon his experiences as a soldier to impart messages that were striking in detail and meaning.

Curator of Abram Games’ exhibition and alumna of FHS Regent’s Park, Emma Mawdsley has worked at the National Army Museum for 25 years, where she is currently Head of Collections Development and Review. After leaving FHS, Emma studied History and Art History at University of Leeds before completing a Masters in Art History at Courtauld Institute of Art. Emma credits FHS for imbibing her with an enthusiasm for both subjects. Says Emma: “My history teacher Miss Blythe was an absolute inspiration. She gave me a real thirst for knowledge which has always stayed with me. Her passion for history and ability to bring the subject to life made me want to study it further.”

There are currently more women than men now working at the National Army Museum, a workplace where women are expected to excel in top-level roles, in an environment that also values and supports family life. Emma advises any pupil wishing to work as a curator that passion is the key to success. Practically, she suggests volunteer work at a gallery whilst studying and also writing articles for local magazines as a route into securing an interview. Emma is happy to speak with any FHS pupils who are contemplating a museum or art gallery career.

The exhibition runs until November 24th at the National Army Museum in Chelsea. For more information and to book tickets, please visit:

  Alumna Emma Mawdsley discusses Abram Games' exhibition at National Army Museum

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