Our Next Program - Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 10:00AM
TERI J. EDELSTEIN, art historian and museum professional
Art for All: Posters of the London Underground
London’s transportation system began as a fragmented collection of rival independent companies. By 1908, colloquially known as ‘The Underground’ it was sufficiently organized to merit the creation of a map. A young employee, Frank Pick, was tasked with promoting this printed plan.
He invited John Hassall to create No need to ask a P’liceman!, which depicts a rotund bobby helpfully pointing a matron towards the map of the Underground. The poster was displayed outside of stations with the newly created map.
From this progenitor, the first of what would become more than 5,000 posters, which continues to this day, came one of the most remarkable marketing campaigns of the 20th century. The more than 5,000 posters, visible from the street on the outside of stations and buses and trams, provided an art gallery for everyone. Their imaginative, and often cutting-edge, designs created a vibrant art presence then not generally available in public or private art galleries in London.
This lecture will discuss the founding and development of this campaign, highlighting the work of some of the most accomplished artists who created these striking and memorable posters.
Teri J. Edelstein, President of Teri J. Edelstein Associates Museum Strategies, is an art historian and museum professional. Her scholarly work has focused on the intersection of high art and popular culture. Most recently, she was editor of and contributor to Art for All: British Posters for Transport.
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