Last night I (and friend) had tickets to attend the opening evening of the Transport Museum’s latest exhibition – a history of posters on the London Underground.
It turns out that London Underground was probably the first transport network to commission posters from artists to promote the rail network, and the exhibition shows off some of the most famous and notable posters which the company commissioned.
There is also a display of posters designs which were rejected, including one by John Nash – which was deemed to be a bit too dull for use!
I was more interested in some of the older poster designs, and there were some comments about the difficulty of printing too many colours on early posters, so the artists had to be very careful when designing them to take those sorts of restrictions into account.
A few bits of the infamous fonts and styles – and at the entrance to the display is a newly commissioned poster by Sir Peter Blake – the iconic artist who is most famous for the Sergeant Pepper album cover – although he has done the odd other thing since then. He was the guest of honour last night and gave the opening speech, along with the curator of the exhibition.
I had my tickets as part of a recent fund raising auction for the museum, and the grandly titled Stakeholder Relations Manager, but very pleasant, Justine took us around some of the displays and showed us how to get up to one of the other displays which shows some of the printed posters which resulted from the art shown in the main display.
I also got a copy of the book accompanying the exhibition, signed by the two main editors (woo!) – and I have to say that based on a flick through it on the tube home, it is a very good book with absolutely loads of posters being shown inside. I don’t normally get excited about the books produced to accompany museum shows (usually being put together just to fleece visitors of cash), but this one is unusually good.
Towards the end of an evening spent wandering round with a glass of wine which was regularly and liberally topped up, I met the infamous Annie Mole who writes the Going Underground blog.
Rather a nice evening out.
The exhibition opens to the public today – details here: http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/136.aspx