In 1908 London Underground began a comprehensive publicity program that became one of the most successful, adventurous, and best-sustained promotional operations ever attempted. The posters commissioned not only encouraged travel on the capital's burgeoning public transport system; they also helped to foster a civic identity for metropolitan London. The four national rail lines created in 1923, inspired by this example, created their own campaigns. This richly illustrated volume celebrates the designs, highlighting works that are among the triumphs of 20th-century poster art.
Designed to accompany an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art, Art for All features more than one hundred works executed for the Underground and the railways. The exhibition and catalogue will explore the evolution of transport posters in 20th-century Britain. It will feature the career of E. McKnight Kauffer, perhaps the greatest of these poster artists; the role of women designers; the printing techniques that brought the designs to life; and the strategies of display developed by the transport systems. Both a visual delight and a work of scholarship, Art for All pays tribute to these extraordinary exploits in public design.
Teri J. Edelstein is a former research fellow at the Yale Center for British Art. She now lives in Chicago, where she has been deputy director of the Art Institute and more recently has served as an international art consultant.