Poster of the Week: Hearing the Riches of London

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Hearing the Riches of London, Frederick Charles Herrick, 1927
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As our lovely art deco tube train is due for an outing on the Underground network this weekend, we are featuring one of the art deco gems from our poster collection with its rich colours and decorative style. Hearing the Riches of London by Frederick Charles Herrick was produced in 1927 as part of a set of posters each representing a difference sense through which the riches of London can be experienced. The set, all designed by Herrick, promotes the sensory delights of London through touch, sight, taste, smell and in this poster, hearing. As a nod to London Underground, the woman’s hairclips are based on the infamous Roundel logo, and the arc across the centre of the poster features imagery representing the variety of music available in London. The poster is still culturally relevant for London today as it remains a key city in the international music scene, although the current genres are slightly broader than in the 1920s!

Herrick designed in the region of 50 posters for London Underground between 1920 and 1933 and four of his other beautiful designs also feature in the Poster Art 150 exhibition. He was born in 1887 and trained at the Leicester School of Art, followed by further training at the prestigious Royal College of Art. Herrick was a leading graphic artist and was well known in his own lifetime. As well as producing his own work he was also a teacher in Brighton, specialising in mural work, and also at the Royal College of Art.

His imagery was well known not only through his work with London Underground but with London Transport in general as well as the London General Omnibus Co and other highly visible public organisations. Perhaps his mostly widely seen work was his lion design produced for the Wembley British Empire Exhibition of 1924 and 1925. There were 27 million visitors to the actual exhibition and subsequently the design was also featured on various souvenirs including Wedgwood china.

Following this commission he produced imagery for the Empire Marketing Board between 1926 and 1933 which was set up to promote trade between countries within the British Empire. Working and teaching until his later years, he died in 1970.

A chance to view and travel on our art deco train this weekend has proved so popular that it is now sold out, but do keep checking back to our Vehicles on the Move page for opportunities later in the year to ride the Underground on our steam train or our long serving 1938 tube stock.

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