Tag Archives: exhibitions

Happy 80th birthday Carol Barker

Happy 80th birthday to Carol Barker, illustrator and author 

Written by David Bownes, co-curator of Poster Girls – a century of art and design.

The multi award-winning illustrator and author Carol Mintum Barker turns 80 on 16 February. I first met Carol last year while researching London Transport Museums Poster Girls exhibition, and I’m not surprised to learn that this sprightly artist is celebrating her landmark birthday teaching young women art and design in Rajasthan, India. In fact, Carol has been visiting and working in India since the 1970s, and has helped many women out of poverty and on to university through art education.

Her remarkable career began sixty years ago. Inspired by her artist father, John Rowland Barker, Carol attended Bournemouth College of Art, Chelsea Polytechnic and the Central School of Arts & Crafts. She became a freelance illustrator in 1958, eventually contributing to over 30 books. Until the late-1970s, her work was most closely associated with children’s book illustration, including a collaboration with the comedian Spike Milligan (The Bald Twit Lion, 1968). It was during this period that she designed four posters for London Transport (LT) promoting Fenton House (1966), London Museum (1969), Children’s London (1973) and London’s Museums (1979) – a selection of which can be seen in the current exhibition at Covent Garden. Her designs in pen and ink, watercolour, collage and wax, capture the joyful exuberance of the age, and are arguably among the best posters commissioned by LT at that time. London Museum in particular is a rich visual scrapbook of the Capital’s past, and visitors to Poster Girls are encouraged to compare the original 3D artwork with the printed poster (both on display). My favourite, though, is the Children’s London pair poster, which was praised by the internationally renowned design journal, Modern Publicity (1974) as one of the best British posters of the previous year.

Since 1977, Carol has undertaken several extensive research trips to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Africa, Tibet and elsewhere to produce non-fiction ‘picture-information’ books for children which sympathetically record day-to-day life in other cultures. On one of these trips she was given a rare private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Her work, often at the behest of international organisations such as Oxfam and the United Nations, has garnered critical acclaim and achieved worldwide publication.

Children's LondonCarol Barker 60s

David Bownes is the Director of twentiethcenturyposters.com

For more information about Poster Girls – a century of art and design and our public programme of events please visit www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/events-calendar

Browse the Poster Girls shop range  www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk/poster-girls

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Posters and Propaganda

To tie in with our First World War Exhibition Goodbye Piccadilly we’ve focused our current Poster Parade on the use of Propaganda in posters, specifically those used on the Homefront. The 20 posters featured reflect advertising campaigns during both the First and Second World Wars.

The term ‘propaganda’ is not easy to define and all of the posters featured can be interpreted differently. Propaganda messages during this time were included, often surreptitiously, in advertising and other public messages.. At the beginning of the First World War, we can identify an emphasis on encouraging leisure travel and shopping. During the Second World War, we see greater use of patriotic and politically charged imagery. Posters also served to boost morale and provide safety information to the general public. However propaganda is defined, the posters produced in wartime were designed to influence thoughts and promote specific action.

they shout for joy
They shout for joy, they also sing – Flags of Allied Nations, 1944, Austin Cooper

Austin Cooper, a Canadian born artist, moved to London in 1922 and began producing posters for London Transport. Cooper is mainly known for his colourful, abstract style and in the pre-war years produced posters promoting travel by underground to places of heritage and the museums in South Kensington (http://tinyurl.com/cnspj9)

The poster‘They shout for joy, they also sing – Flags of Allied Nations’ (1944) is strikingly different to his other works. The central flags of The Republic of China, The United States of America, The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) and Great Britain represent the super powers of the time. The white star and blue background at the top of the poster is reminiscent of the League of Nations, which was formed after the First World War. Is its inclusion intended as a symbol of unity?

Austincooperflags

We had difficulty identifying all of the flags, but fortunately Cooper designed a key to illustrate them!

If you want to learn more about propaganda posters during the First World War, why not attend the talk by David Bownes, Assistant Director of Collections at the National Army Museum, at London Transport Museum on Tuesday 2 September.

Written by Hayley Jedrzejewski, Collections Assistant

Young Consultants take over Poster Parade

We were given the opportunity to help create and present the Poster Parade as part of the Mind the Map exhibition, with the support of curators Michelle Brown and Anna Renton. The Poster Parade works alongside the exhibition to give visitors a further insight into the museum’s collection. We chose to use the Poster Parade to challenge the conventional ideas of ‘What is a map?’

We began to create our first Poster Parade in May 2012. We were given a selection of 150 posters and through a lot of discussion and voting, we picked our final top 20 posters! The posters reflect the diversity of ideas and perspectives on mapping journeys. They all pushed boundaries in conveying the meaning of a map. The themes we chose to devise the Poster Parade were; colour, progression of transport, journeys into the countryside and the skills of design.

After making our selection we went to the London Transport Depot in Acton and pulled out the actual posters. We also took part in the process of putting the posters up onto display which was really nice seeing the outcome of all our hard work. This was on display between May and July 2012.

What is a Map?

We currently have a new Poster Parade on display is based on the ‘Olympics’. We helped pull out the posters from the Acton Depot which is always a fun process. The ‘Olympics’ Poster Parade can be found on the second floor at the museum; come down and have a look!

We recently selected posters for the ‘North, East, South, and West’ Poster Parade. As it was our second time, going through the process was a lot quicker as we knew what we were looking for. This poster parade looks at all different areas within London; combing old and new designs.

This Poster Parade will be on display from 14 September 2012 Keep a look out!

We would like to thank Michelle and Anna for being so helpful whilst teaching us the procedures and also for the opportunity to take part. It was an amazing experience and we look forward to our forthcoming work for the Poster 150 exhibition.

Haiku Workshop for Museums at Night

Through positive feedback from our previous two spoken word events, we took the opportunity to create another workshop for the Museums at Night event on Friday 18 May 2012. This also happened to be the public opening of the exhibition Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography, making it even more exciting.

We worked alongside Dean Atta and Laila Sumpton (professional Spoken Word artists who facilitated our previous workshops) to prepare the activities. We then had the help of two Young Volunteers Ayomide Leshi and Daniel Otubela, from the Journeys Youth Programme, to deliver the workshop.

We decided to run a haiku workshop as it’s a simple and fun way of writing a poem. A haiku is a three lined poem with five syllables in the first and third lines, and seven syllables in the second line.

Here are some examples from the evening:

Everyone thinks queen
I know it’s really for me
Me, Victoria

Victoria Pipe, Victoria

People excited
Tickets, athletes, gold medals
Stratford twenty twelve

Jess, Stratford

Like our Emotional Map, we wanted to invite the public to share the emotions that they associated with different areas on the London Tube map and take it to another level by expressing it through poetry.

Being given the Design Gallery to work in, we thought about the resources we needed and how they would work in the space. We decided to display a Tube map on a large canvas. Visually, this linked directly to our Emotional Map within the Mind the Map exhibition. We then chose luggage tags for people to write on and pins to fix tags to the station on the canvas map.

We read out some haikus that we had found interesting and ended the workshop with a performance of poetry we had created with the Young Volunteers. Amazingly over 130 people participated. We were all really happy with the excellent feedback given and comments were also posted through LTM Twitter.

We really enjoyed the evening and thank you to all who took part!

Sense the City: Meet the Photographer Q&A – Danielle Houghton

This Q&A is part of the Sense the City Flickr Project. For background on this project see Sense the City – Flickr Project.

Tube story by Danielle Houghton
Tube story by Danielle Houghton, 2011

 

Tell us about the inspiration behind your photo
My inspiration behind the photograph was simply to capture the feeling and look of London.  As a visitor to London I always enjoy the vibrant diversity of people and the buzz about the place, I never tire of observing people.  I was quite taken with the ladies clearly at the beginning of their night out as they were having an animated conversation with lots of oohs and aahs.  In contrast beside them caught up in the technology we all enjoy was somebody whose look I thought was very ‘London’ I loved his ring shades and vest and I could not resist documenting that moment.

How long have you been involved with photography?
It first excited me as a teenager over 20 years ago and has remained a passion ever since.  In the years where I did not have access to a camera I immersed myself in photography books so I always stayed connected.

What equipment do you use?
At the time I took the photograph I used a Nikon D70 DSLR which alas is now in need of repair.  Currently I either use a Nikon Coolpix 5400 or a Canon EOS 1100D.

What inspires you?
In terms of who inspires me there are many photographers I follow and enjoy, to name a few – Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Stephen Gill, Rinko Kawauchi, the Street Photographers in In-Public and many contacts I have made through using flickr.

In terms of what inspires me, it is mainly the excitement I get from human observation and the thrill of trying to capture interesting people and unique, funny, or surreal moments.

What is your preferred subject matter?
Besides photographing my children my closest affiliation is to Street Photography, i.e. capturing strangers in a candid way in public places, though occasionally I am happy to shoot anything that catches my eye be it an animal or architecture etc. People in essence are unique and  provide endless opportunities to photograph. I find myself drawn to oddities and humor, connections and clichés.  I hope to reveal the fun and fascination and even sometimes sadness of life.  I try to present moments and coincidences in a visually pleasing manner.

Plans for the future?
To keep on taking photographs no matter what.  I would like to develop a few different series – for example I can’t wait to return and take more shots on the tube.  I also like the idea of taking random bus journeys and seeing what unfolds, maybe even leaning towards a social documentary series.   Ultimately I would like to build up a strong portfolio of Street Photographs and publish a book one day.

Describe your photography in one word.
Fun

Further information

http://www.flickr.com/photos/larking-about/

Installing the new poster parade “John Burningham: Journeys of Imagination”

On Friday 9th September a team of curators and museum technical assistants arrived early at London Transport Museum to install the new extended poster parade, John Burningham: Journeys of Imagination which celebrates the transport related work of the renowned children’s author and illustrator John Burningham.

Poster parades have to be installed early in the morning to be sure that everything is ready for the Museum’s opening at 11am. Today a larger team than usual assisted with the installation which included new features such as an introductory panel, a Flickr wall panel and floor graphics featuring a leaf design taken from one of the featured posters.

The new poster parade, John Burningham: Journeys of Imagination, features 7 out of the 9 posters John made for London Transport in the early 1960s. These posters will feature with John’s rarely seen travel commissions made for other transport companies during the same period.

Part way through the poster parade, a new commission by John will be installed. Children’s London was first commissioned by London Transport in 1968 but was never completed … until now. London Transport Museum has recommissioned this work which will go on display in the poster parade and will also be available for purchase from the Museum shop.

The Fleming Gallery is also hosting their own John Burningham exhibition which will focus on John’s career as a children’s author and illustrator. Their exhibition, John Burningham: An Illustrated Journey runs from 13th September to 22nd December.

Loan to the Esoterick Collection for “The Poster King: Edward McKnight Kauffer”

London Transport Museum’s Poster Collection is one of the most sought after in terms of loans requests the Museum receives. A loan must be agreed months before an actual exhibition opens to ensure that all the relevant paperwork has been completed.

This week, London Transport Museum has sent out seven posters and three artworks by one of London Transport’s most prolific artists, Edward McKnight Kauffer. The posters and artworks are being loaned by the Esoterick Collection of Modern Italian Art, who are holding their exhibition, The Poster King: Edward McKnight Kauffer from 14th September to 18th December 2011.

We are very excited to see this prolific artist’s work for London Underground exhibited with his other commissions such as those for Shell that he made during his time in England.

Installing the New Poster Parade: Engaging Londoners on the Move

The Seen, by James Fitton, 1948

Buy Poster

Every few months London Transport Museum installs a new Poster Parade which showcases 20 posters from our collection of over 5,000 different poster designs. Curators and Museum Technical Assistants have to arrive at the museum early to make sure the display is ready for when the museum opens.

The poster parades are usually themed. This can be to showcase the highlights of our collection, mark the change of seasons or even to support another exhibition featured in the museum.

This month’s poster parade has been sponsored by CBS Outdoor, a major supporter of the Museum, who have selected and interpreted the 20 posters that are currently on display. CBS Outdoor are the advertising company responsible for the London Underground, bus, tram and rail networks.

The poster parade can be found on Mezzanine Level 1 of the Museum.