Behind the Painting by Numbers Poster Parade

On the 6th January curators and museum technical assistants spent the early morning installing the new poster parade ‘Painting by numbers’. The display shows posters which creatively adopt facts and figures to celebrate the increase of efficiency, reliability and progress of London transport operators but also offer solutions to problems faced by commuters on their journeys.

Selecting the posters for display was a tough decision, and was heartbreaking to see some excluded from the final 20. Two artworks from 1953 by Tom Eckersley (above), one of the leading poster designers, were found on our catalogue but could not be included in the exhibition as our aim is to show posters rather than rough sketches and drawings.

Interestingly the design stage of the artworks didn’t go further than the drawing board, so their design was never taken forward and seen by the public on the Underground.

Another poster which was unearthed on the catalogue dates back to 1912, and is by an unknown artist. It’s a nifty design which shows a bar chart comparing the speed of different modes of transport. The poster promotes the use of the Tube by claiming it is the quickest and easiest way to get around London. If you look closely you’ll be able to see a snail at the bottom of the chart as one of the comparisons!

For the final 20 selection come and see the display which will be up until the 22nd March 2012.

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