Poster Girls Of The Underground: Check Out These Vintage Ads, All Designed By Women

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 81 months ago

Last Updated 10 October 2017

Poster Girls Of The Underground: Check Out These Vintage Ads, All Designed By Women

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For over 100 years, women have played a key role in the branding of the London Underground. When poster art was in its infancy, artists like Mabel Lucie Attwell were using their skills to inform and entice passengers, in bold new ways.

Now, London Transport Museum is exhibiting over 130 original transport posters and artworks, in Poster Girls: A Century of Art and Design.

Country Fair, by Mabel Lucie Attwell, 1912
Rugby at Twickenham, by Laura Knight, 1921

From the 'golden age' designs of Mary Koop and Dorothy Dix in the 1920s-30s, to their 21st century sistren, Louisa St. Pierre and Ruth Hydes, the exhibition shows how themes and designs have changed over the decades, and how the designers of yore have often influenced those that have followed in their footsteps.

Epping Forest, by Nancy Smith, 1922
The Hop Gardens of Kent, by Dorothy Dix, 1922

Says Sam Mullins, Director of London Transport Museum: "By theming our latest poster exhibition around the work of female artists and designers, we are providing a new filter through which to appreciate the Museum’s world class poster collection. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the changing social, economic and political conditions that affected women’s lives and work over the last century – which is rather fitting as we approach the centenary in 2018 of votes for women."

Foxgloves; Kew Gardens, by Dora M Batty, 1924
From country to the heart of town for shopping, by Dora M Batty, 1925

Says Ruth Sykes, graphic designer and associate lecturer in graphic design at Central Saint Martins: "These artists have and continue to make an incredibly important contribution to poster design but generally they are not as well-known as their male contemporaries. The Poster Girls exhibition will help to redress this by bringing their work to the attention of a wider public audience."

Summer Sales Quickly Reached, by Mary Koop, 1925
Derby Day, by Herry Perry, 1928
Q.E.D, by Margaret Calkin James, 1929
Regent's Park Zoo, by Arnrid Banniza Johnston, 1930
Royal Tournament, Olympia, by Anna Katrina Zinkeisen, 1934

Visitors can explore the themes of the exhibition with a public programme of Poster Girls events – including talks, Friday Lates and Late Debates.

Cup Final, by Anna Katrina Zinkeisen, 1934
Merry-Go-Round, by Anna Katrina Zinkeisen, 1935
Come out to play, by Rosemary Ellis Clifford Ellis, 1936
At the Theatre, by Doris Zinkeisen, 1939
See London and London's country, by Sheila Stratton, 1954
Pantomimes and circuses, by Joan Beales, 1954
Boat Races. Head of the River..., by Anne Hickmott, 1959
We Londoners, by Dorrit Dekk, 1961
Children's London, by Carol Barker, 1973
The new Kew by tube, by Jennie Tuffs, 1987
St James's Park by Tube and bus, by Jennie Tuffs, 1997
Simply food and fresh air by tube and bus, by Louisa St. Pierre, 2001
Epping Forest, by Ruth Hydes, 2015
Winter fun - shopping, by Anna Hymas, 2016

Poster Girls: A Century of Art and Design runs at London Transport Museum from 13 October. Entrance included in museum ticket price.

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