From Thursday, 21st April until Sunday, 24th April, London Transport Museum’s Depot in Acton, West London, will be open for the public to explore its working collection store and the museum’s iconic collection of transport posters dating from around 1905.
The London Transport Museum Depot houses over 320,000 artefacts, including historic Tube trains, buses, trams, maps, and signs. Its collection of more than 30,000 posters represents up to 7,000 designs by artists including Abram Games, Dora M Batty, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Man Ray, Dame Laura Knight and Max Gill.
The ‘Art of the Poster’ Open Days are part of the BBC’s Art That Made Us Festival. Visitors can take a tour behind-the-scenes in the Depot’s poster store which is usually closed to the public.
There will also be talks, creative workshops, and family activities that will show how art and design have characterised London and its transport for over 100 years. During theopen days, there will be a number of special events.
On Thursday 21 and Friday 22 April visitors can try their hand at creating their own posters with artist Emma Hockley in creative workshops. Using collage and lino cutting techniques, they can also craft their own design inspired by the capital, from its transport and landmarks to its people and culture.
On Saturday, 23rd and Sunday, 24th April London Transport’s miniature railway will be running, and passengers can travel on replica models of Underground trains used on the Metropolitan line between the 1920s and 1960s.
On Saturday 23 April:
- At 11.30, the museum’s Head Curator will explain how London’s transport poster design has changed over the last 100 years. He will journey through the pictorial beginnings of Underground posters, from the ‘golden age’ of poster design to the present days.
- At 12.30, Caroline Walker, the great niece of artist MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill, will reveal how Gill’s whimsical poster maps, first unveiled in 1914, led him to become one of Frank Pick’s favourite poster designers during his time as publicity manager, and later chief executive, for the Underground. Gill’s 1914 ‘Wonderground Map’ drew such attention on platforms that passengers ‘watched so long they missed their trains’.
- At 13.30, Naomi Games, the daughter of graphic designer Abram Games, will explore the creative journey his posters took from conception to completion and share sketches from his archive.
- At 15.00. artist Lucy McKenzie and curator Fiona Orsini will reveal insights into the contemporary commissioning of McKenzie’s ambitious public artwork, commissioned by Art on the Underground, at the Charles Holden designed Sudbury Town station.
On Sunday 24 April:
- At 11.30. historian and author Lucinda Gosling will draw on previously unpublished artworks and sketches, as well as letters, diaries and photographs to reveal how British artist John Hassall earned the title of ‘The Poster King’ in the early 20th century.
- At 12.30, Ruth Sykes, Associate Lecturer in Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, will take guests back to the golden age of poster design and the stories of two prolific female poster artists, Herry Perry and Dora Batty.
- At 13.30, author and historian Oliver Green will explore what London and its transport was like in 1920s London, from a surge in colourful poster publicity, to the creation of huge infrastructure projects at Chiswick and Acton and the development of the West London suburbs.
Families visiting the ‘Art of the Poster’ Open Days can:
- follow a trail to spot an array of colourful vehicles from different eras of London’s transport history.;
- on Saturday, 23th and Sunday, 24th only, take part in creative activity sessions to make their very own colourful transport posters to take home;
- cast their vote for their favourite transport poster from a selection of colourful designs featuring animals
Timed tickets to visit the London Transport Museum Depot must be booked in advance online.
Tickets to visit the depot are timed and must be booked in advance online. Adult tickets cost £15 and tickets for children cost £7.50. Children aged 3 and under go free. Concessions are available and local residents living in Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon can enjoy 1/3 off tickets. To book visit: https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/depot-open-weekends/art-poster
Visitors should check the full programme online when buying their ticket as certain talks and activities only take place on set days.
Tickets for the miniature railway will be sold separately on the day.
London Transport Museum’s Depot will open for two more unique events this year:
Act On it! Depot Open Days, Saturday, 2nd to Sunday, 3rd July 2022.
Depot Unlocked Open Days, Thursday, 22nd to Sunday, 25th September 2022.