building the Tube
London’s Underground turns 150 this year, and the city’s Transport Museum is celebrating with an exhibit and catalogue showing how the world’s first underground railway has, from the very beginning, shaped the structure of the city and changed life for Londoners of all classes & backgrounds. Curators of a separate collection Poster Art 150 – London Underground’s Greatest Designs illustrate how, besides the serving as a source of pioneering technology, the Tube commissioned some of the best graphic design as the demands of wayfinding, and the promotion of the system to all social classes, converged early on in a period of the most inventive commercial art. In a seductive slight-of-hand, Artist Horace Taylor’s poster from 1924 (above right), depicts the theatre-going swells of the West End, even though the only station at the time with three escalators was in the East End.
The show is up (or down) through October 27.