London Transport Posters A Century of Art and Design Book
This is a Open Edition Book featuring work by the artist Paul Nash.
- Edited by David Bownes and Oliver GreenWith contributions by Jonathan Black, David Bownes, Emmanuelle Dirix, Claire Dobbin, Catherine Flood, Oliver Green, Bex Lewis, Alan Powers, Paul Rennie and Brian Webb
London Transport Posters, now available in an attractive paperback edition at an accessible paperback price, celebrates a century of outstanding graphic design commissioned by the Underground, London Transport, and its present-day successor, Transport for London.
The book explores the organisation's pioneering role as Britain's greatest patron of poster art, a unique role developed in the early 20th century under the visionary leadership of Frank Pick. The selected artworks and posters, many published here for the first time, reflect a dazzling variety of period styles and techniques, produced by an extraordinary range of artists and designers attracted by the Underground's world-wide reputation. The resulting legacy includes works by practitioners as diverse as John Hassall, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Laura Knight, Man Ray, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Abram Games, William Roberts, Howard Hodgkin and David Shrigley.
Drawing on newly researched sources in the archives of the London Transport Museum and Transport for London, the book discusses and illustrates the different styles and themes emerging from the posters over the last hundred years. These include the contrasting approaches of commercial graphic designers and the group of modernist avant-garde artists commissioned by the Underground in the 1920s and 1930s; the use of posters to support the expansion of the Tube by attracting new audiences and selling an aspirational vision of suburbia; the important role of women in the development of poster advertising both as designers and consumers; the different uses of the transport poster during two world wars; the changing fortunes of the poster in the post-war period; and the public view of posters from 1908 to the present day.
More than 250 images are drawn from the London Transport Museum's collection of over 5000 posters and artworks, which represents the most complete graphic archive of its kind to be assembled by a single organisation over so long a period anywhere in the world. London Transport Posters: A Century of Art and Design is richly illustrated with examples of posters from all periods, and is an invaluable reference book and visual resource for all those with an interest in 20th-century design.
Contents: Foreword: Frank Pick: A Personal Tribute, Tim O'Toole; Introduction, David Bownes and Oliver Green; Timeline; Chapter 1: Pictorial Posters in Britain at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Catherine Flood; Chapter 2: Appearance Values: Frank Pick and the Art of London Transport, Oliver Green; Chapter 3: Artist and Printer: Poster Production 1900-70, Alan Powers; Chapter 4: The New Publicity: Design Reform, Commercial Art and Design Education 1910-1939, Paul Rennie; Chapter 5: Selling the Underground Suburbs 1908-33, David Bownes; Chapter 6: Fashioning the Tube: Women and Transport Posters in the 1920s and 1930s, Emmanuelle Dirix; Chapter 7: 'Pictures with a Sting': London Underground and the Inter-War Modernist Poster, Jonathan Black; Chapter 8: Underground Posters in Wartime, Bex Lewis and David Bownes; Chapter 9: The Roller Coaster Ride: London Transport Posters since 1945, Brian Webb; Chapter 10: Art for All? The Reception of Underground Posters, Claire Dobbin; Bibliography; Acknowledgements; Index.
About the Editor: David Bownes is Senior Curator at London Transport Museum. His recent publications include The Metropolitan Railway (2005). Oliver Green is Head Curator at London Transport Museum and has written and lectured extensively on London Transport's design history. Jonathan Black is a Senior Research Fellow in History of Art at Dorich House Museum, Kingston University, with a special interest in early twentieth-century European art, cultural and military history. Emmanuelle Dirix is a design historian and associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London and the London College of Fashion. Claire Dobbin is an art historian and Project Curator at London Transport Museum. Catherine Flood is a Curator of Prints at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London with responsibility for the Museum's poster collection. Bex Lewis is an Honorary Research Fellow in History at the University of Winchester. Alan Powers is Professor of Architecture and Cultural History at the University of Greenwich and has written extensively on twentieth-century British art and design. Paul Rennie is Head of Context in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. Brian Webb is a practising designer who, with his former agency Trickett and Webb, designed a number of posters for London Underground.
Reviews: 'The publishers are to be commended for making a book of this standard of production available at such a reasonable price.' Railway and Canal Historical Society
‘…unique examples of poster art, the majority of which are reproduced here in full color…essays cover a wide range of topics important to the visual and social history of design…It will be very valuable for all those interested in design history…Highly recommended.’ Choice
'A well presented book for the art lover, the transport enthusiast and those interested in the history of London ... highly recommended'. National Railway Museum Review 2008
'... this glorious new book with more than 250 iconic pictures ... ' The London Paper 2008
' ... makes a superb ... gift that will keep any Londoner - or any visitor to the capital for that matter - informed and diverted for years'. RA Winter 2008
'London Transport once imagined a bureaucracy itself as a work of art, something beautifully and intelligently documented in this book.' New Statesman 2008
'This is a handsome book with scores of colourful posters.'
'In this highly successful reference work, poster design represents just one theme among many, but one illuminated from many perspectives.' Novum 2009
'... The text is well documented and supported throughout with more then 250 excellent illustrations ... The best book available on this narrow topic, it is recommended for academic and large public libraries as a research source and as an engrossing exploration of British graphic arts and public transportation.' Library Journal
'The book is wonderfully informative and easy to read. As is proper, it is handsomely designed. In short it is 'fit for purpose and pleasant to use'. Frank Pick would have approved'. Print Quarterly
'Several books have been published on London Transport posters, but this surpasses them all.' Grahame Boyles
'Every page of this book offers the reader images of the diversity of subject-matter and artistic style that have exemplified London Transport Posters over the last century … This is a book with wide appeal; it would be the ideal complement to a visit to the London Transport Museum for the general visitor, while offering a sound introduction to the subject for those seeking a deeper understanding of this important design phenomenon.' Cassone
Co-publisher: Published in association with the London Transport Museum.
- Imprint: Lund Humphries
- Illustrations: Includes 240 colour and 30 b&w illustrations
- Published: June 2011
- Format: 260 x 220 mm
- Extent: 240 pages
- Binding: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-0-85331-985-6