Wednesday, 22 October 2014
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The best posters in the history of the London Underground

The London Underground’s 150th birthday this year has cast a well-deserved light on the archive of brilliantly executed design that the oft-berated transport system has spawned throughout its life.

 Away from it all by Underground at Whitsuntide, by M E M Law, 1932

Away from it all by Underground at Whitsuntide, by M E M Law, 1932

Now, a forthcoming show at the London Transport Museum is set to celebrate the two-dimensional side of the Tube’s design history, with an exhibition of 150 Underground posters.

 For the zoo book to Regents Park, by Charles Paine, 1921

For the zoo book to Regents Park, by Charles Paine, 1921

Curators sifted through a whopping archive of 3,300 posters to select the final 150, with featured works including pieces by artists such as Edward McKnight Kauffer and Paul Nash.

By Underground to fresh air, by Maxwell Ashby, 1915

By Underground to fresh air, by Maxwell Ashby, 1915

Throughout the show’s tenure, visitors will have the chance to vote for their favourite poster, with the winner revealed when it ends in October this year.

Kennel Club Show, by Tom Eckersley and Eric Lombers, 1938

Kennel Club Show, by Tom Eckersley and Eric Lombers, 1938

The exhibition is organised around six main themes. ‘Finding your way’ delineates not only the routes the Tube travels, but also how to navigate the Tube, with etiquette posters and messages of reassurance to travellers.

The lure of the Underground, by Alfred Leete, 1927

The lure of the Underground, by Alfred Leete, 1927

Meanwhile ‘brightest London’ highlights the events, nightlife and sport that make the capital dazzle.

‘Capital culture’ showcases posters that point out trips such as gallery, zoo or museum visits; while the ‘get away from it all’ section encourages travellers to look a little further afield and venture out of the Big Smoke to the relative serenity of the suburbs.

Underground; the way for all, by Alfred France, 1911

Underground; the way for all, by Alfred France, 1911

‘Love your city’ – as if any Londoner should need reminding – presents a selection of posters that show off the very best of the London landmarks that have featured in posters from the last 150 years.

Uxbridge, by Charles Paine, 1921

Uxbridge, by Charles Paine, 1921

Poster Art 150 – London Underground’s Greatest Designs runs from 15 February – 27 October at London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E. A Friday Lates event takes place on the exhibition’s opening night, for more information visit www.ltmuseum.co.uk

Readers' comments (1)

  • Abram Games did some amazing poster work for the London Underground, am surprised to see now examples of His here.

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