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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Painting(s) of the Month (20) August 2011: London Transport Artists

This months pictures are a little different from the norm. They are all reproductions of posters commissioned for London Transport. I have chosen a selection of 'places' designed to encourage travellers to visit the countryside although, today all of these places are within Greater London. Posters were also made depicting Wimbledon for Tennis and Wembley Stadium for soccer. It was really the spreading of the Underground Railway network that helped the many London suburbs to expand from country towns and villages to become part of the 30 mile wide urban sprawl that is London. Much of it is still very attractive. For example the second poster, nearly 100 years old, depicts Hainault Forest about two miles from where I live. It's still a favourite hiking place though it now has a children's zoo and a public golf course; no membership, just turn up and play. The artists were leading professionals of the time and many of these posters can be seen and purchased from The London Transport Museum.
High Beech by Charles Sharland 1913
Hainault Forest by Fred Taylor 1914

Twickenham by Arthur Blunt 1912

Windsor Castle by Walter E Spradbery 1930

Flowers of the Riverside by Edwared McKnight Kauffer 1920
London Transport (which was formed by an amalgamation of all the various railway companies operating different 'tube' lines) is still a patron of the arts as the poster from 2007, below, shows!
The West End of London from Primrose Hill by Paul Catherall 2007


Kelly said...

Very cool paintings. And you're right, these are quite different than what you usually post on your blog. It's nice to see different types of artwork and it really helps to "widen your visual horizons and perceptions", if you know what I mean.

Btw, I hope summer is going great for you, Bazza. Kezza's summer has been full of some unexpected twists and turns thus far. :)

joanne fox said...

The London Transport posters are really stylish. I like the High Beech one (though you can only go there on Sundays!) and the Flowers of the Riverside is lovely too. Anything vaguely Deco is a always a hit with me. I'm off to look in the Transport Museum shop now to see what else they do.

bazza said...

Kezza: (You will now be 'Kezza' until the end of time!) I really love these posters as much as most of the other stuff I write about.
The Summer is going very well for me my friend but your world sounds intiguing; I'm sure we will learn soon enough!

bazza said...

joanne fox: I still often go to High Beech on a Sunday; it's a lovely part of Epping Forest. It was also very popular with east end courting couples (I am told!)
I hope you enjoyed the museum; there are hundreds more posters as you will have seen.

Bluejun said...

I love this posters. In fact, the only thing I ever had published before my first novel was an article on London Transport posters for a NY graphic design magazine. Researching it was delightful, though you've missed my favourite -- the Man Ray.

bazza said...

Hi Meg. It was incredibly difficult to choose. At one time I had about three times as many posters but it was just too many.
Wasn't Man Ray associated mostly with photography?

klahanie said...

Hello bazza,
I must say that I found those London Transport posters truly fascinating and they would look very good on my living room walls.
Only thing is, old boy, I'm suddenly got the theme music to 'On the Buses' going through my head. Over and over and over, again. Or as Blakey would say, 'I'll get you bazza!' :)

bazza said...

Gary: Ha ha! Only trouble is that these posters are 30 to 50 years before Blakey and his chums!
However, I am sure they would look great on your living-room walls. You might even find one with a picture of Penny's great great grandma at the Musuem website.

THE SNEE said...

Hi Bazza,

What a refreshing post on travel posters! I happen to have a weakness for them, especially given the not so great news that keeps rolling out on the state of the world economy, crazed weather, and of course my preoccupation with getting rid of our excess! I thought you might enjoy a peek at someVermont vintage travel posters by the artist Kevin Ruelle. Just click on the, 'works by kevin ruelle' link at the top of his page.

Now, I'm excited to visit some of the places highlighted by your post and those posters too.

David said...

Dear bazza,
I'm a little late to comment this time, but I do quite like the posters you have displayed here.
I think, also, although this may have nothing to do with your post, the London Underground map is a masterpiece of some kind, and I believe one artist did a version of it in the fairly recent past. Maybe you will know who the artist was?
Yours with All the Best,

Dixie@dcrelief said...

I like all of these; strangely I am not 'pulled' to any one execution of artistry. I wish I could visit this place. Thank you for posting!

bazza said...

Snee: I can see that Kevin Ruelle has really caught the vintage style very well. I find the colours in his paintings a little bit washy for my taste but I like the designs. I find all travel posters intriguing but particularly the older ones. If you ever come to London those places are all easily accessible!

David: It's never too late to comment on this blog! Come to think of it, I am late in replying (I've been to a wedding in Sheffield over the weekend). I certainly agree that the underground map is an absolute masterpiece of design. I do intend to make it the subject of a future post (unless you beat me to it!)

dcrelief: 'This place' is all around London: Epping to Windsor is about 50 miles by road and about 35 'as the crow flies'. But you could buy an All-day Travel Pass! Yeah, do it!

Anonymous said...

From the wine cellar of Sir Tom Eagerly:
When I was a small child papa used to drive the Rolls up to Windsor castle. Apparently some distant relation of his lives there. Betty, I think her name was.
Charming posters old bean.

bazza said...

Sir Tom: Stop being naughty Sir Tom! (For those who don't know it seems that 'Betty' is the Royal Families pet name for the Queen). Sir Tom is hinting at Royal antecedents - but I think he is a 'commoner' in every sense possible!

Bluejun said...

Bazza -- have a look at this link for the Man Ray poster.

bazza said...

Meg: Thanks for that link. I recognised that classic Man Ray poster but did not know it was his work. I had been seduced by other more flashy and 'prettier' work.
It's the same with women!

BrandNewStudio said...


bazza said...

Brand New Studio: Thanks for your comment. I am sorry for not replying sooner but I missed your comment until now.