Exhibition Preview: Painting By Numbers @ London Transport Museum

By Zoe Craig Last edited 78 months ago
Exhibition Preview: Painting By Numbers @ London Transport Museum
These Vehicles are Carrying 69 People, by Heinz Zinram, photographer (1965)
These Vehicles are Carrying 69 People, by Heinz Zinram, photographer (1965)
Figures for 1923 by Charles Shepard (1924)
Figures for 1923 by Charles Shepard (1924)
What It Takes to Move The Passengers by Irene Fawkes (1924)
What It Takes to Move The Passengers by Irene Fawkes (1924)
Speed by Alfred Leete (1915)
Speed by Alfred Leete (1915)

Infographics! Not, it turns out, a product of the Mashable age, created with the sole purpose of being retweeted…

Indeed, the new poster exhibition at the London Transport Museum, Painting by Numbers, highlights the use of what they call “data visualisation” from the early 20th century onwards.

Painting by Numbers opens on Friday, and displays a range of posters, some dating from the 1930s or earlier, which show artistic, historical versions of infographics connected to transport in London.

Many promote the benefits of travelling by London transport; some are pure propaganda, telling our ancestors about the excellence of the public transport services being provided.

But all are incredibly beautiful works of design, whether their intended messages worked or not. Visit the museum, and you’ll see 20 on display, including those above and works by Hans Schleger, Misha Black & David Langdon, Theyre Lee-Elliott, and James Fitton.

If you particularly love the examples above, don’t forget you can buy your own versions of these posters from the shop. And remind yourself of a time when £4 a week bought you "the freedom of the city."

Poster Parade – Painting by Numbers is at the London Transport Museum from 6 January to 18 March. The display complements the museum’s current exhibition Sense and the City. Entrance to the museum costs 13.50 (adults) and £10 (concessions), which allows unlimited admission for 12 months. Admission is free for kids under 16. Visit ltmuseum.co.uk for more info.

Last Updated 05 January 2012