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Railway Posters 1923-1947: From the…
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Railway Posters 1923-1947: From the Collection of the National Railway… (original: 1992; edição: 2000)

de Beverley Cole (Autor), Richard Durack (Autor)

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842252,712 (4)2
Between 1923 and 1947 the railway poster in Britain was in its heyday. These were the years of the so-called "Big Four" companies: The Great Western Railway, Southern Railway, London Midland and Scottish Railway, and London and North Eastern Railway. In the competition for passengers, each of the companies developed its own distinctive style of poster advertising. Some of the finest poster artists of the time were commissioned - including Cassandre, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Fred Taylor and Tom Purvis - and new standards were set for railway art. The subjects of the posters ranged from the resorts and towns covered by each company's network, top trains and the wider interests of the railway; from beautiful landscapes, sunny beaches and bathing belles, to ships, hotels and streamlined expresses. This book contains over 200 of the most striking and innovative designs of the period. An illustrated introduction, extended captions and biographies of the artists provide a comprehensive analysis of the classic era of the railway poster.… (mais)
Membro:LaVidaLlena
Título:Railway Posters 1923-1947: From the Collection of the National Railway Museum, York, England
Autores:Beverley Cole (Autor)
Outros autores:Richard Durack (Autor)
Informação:Laurence King Pub (2000), 160 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Train Room, Book Nook

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Railway Posters 1923-1947: From the Collection of the National Railway Museum, York, England de Beverley Cole (1992)

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A fine collection of posters produced by the UK's four main line railway companies in the period 1923-47. The authors describe how the posters were advanced from those of the earlier companies, with a mish-mash of styles and (for the most part) fairly pedestrian themes, into an art-form that used some of the foremost artists of the day - though there was sometimes a good deal of 'creative tension' between those who saw their work as bringing art to the masses and those who believed themselves to be mostly commercial illustrators.

(Interestingly, perhaps the most famous British railway poster was one which extolled the virtues of the Lincolnshire resort of Skegness, in the form of the "Jolly Fisherman", and this is discussed. It was one of the few original advertising themes that originated from one of the pre-World War I companies - the Great Northern Railway in 1908 - but which was continued by the LNER and later by the nationalised British Railways. The copyright on the image was transferred to the town council in 1966 and it is now used to promote the resort exclusively.)
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The different approaches of the four companies is also highlighted. The Great Western is shown to be highly conservative and traditional; the Southern willing to experiment, especially with some of the Art Deco forms that reflected the more modernist architecture of some of the towns and cities it served; and the LMS and LNER being perhaps the most open-minded about new forms of expression in some of the work they commissioned.

Of particular note was the French artist Cassandre, who produced the iconic posters for the liner S.S. France, Dubonnet and the French Nord railway.

Presentation of the book is very well done, marred in a few places only by some poor editing and proof-reading - even to the point of getting the spelling of place-names in captions wrong which are shown in their correct spellings on the art-work itself!

The book restricts itself to considering the posters as art-works, and this is fine; but occasionally, some reflection on their place in wider societal, technical and political movements might have been helpful. For example, there is one LMS poster dating from around 1929, depicting the landing of a Norse King on the Isle of Man following the defeat of the Norsemen at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. The poster shows his longships being pulled up the beach, their heraldic symbols prominent on their sails. One of them is a large blue swastika within a white circle on a red sail. Now, I happen to know that to be the Finnish swastika and that it has none of the political baggage that the Nazi one has. But most readers will not know that. The caption to the poster fails to mention it; some sort of explanation would have been useful. Less obvious gaps in explanation occur elsewhere in the book, though the example I've identified is the biggest elephant in this particular gallery.

There is one other disappointment. This book is based on the collection at the National Railway Museum in York. That collection does not include any posters for the London Underground, as London is covered specifically by the London Transport Museum at Covent Garden. But the Underground's poster art shared the pinnacle of graphic design in the inter-war years with the best of the posters in this book, and any study of railway poster art in this period ought to include it.

That aside, this is a very attractive production and should be on the shelves of anyone with an interest in railways, or commercial art, or just the general pattern of life and society between the wars. ( )
2 vote RobertDay | Oct 8, 2018 |
The introduction is a concise discussion of the art as it was seen by the 4 major railroad groups of the time that posters started rolling. Excellent art and a high quality book. I believe this will be visited again more than once. ( )
  ulmannc | May 29, 2017 |
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Between 1923 and 1947 the railway poster in Britain was in its heyday. These were the years of the so-called "Big Four" companies: The Great Western Railway, Southern Railway, London Midland and Scottish Railway, and London and North Eastern Railway. In the competition for passengers, each of the companies developed its own distinctive style of poster advertising. Some of the finest poster artists of the time were commissioned - including Cassandre, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Fred Taylor and Tom Purvis - and new standards were set for railway art. The subjects of the posters ranged from the resorts and towns covered by each company's network, top trains and the wider interests of the railway; from beautiful landscapes, sunny beaches and bathing belles, to ships, hotels and streamlined expresses. This book contains over 200 of the most striking and innovative designs of the period. An illustrated introduction, extended captions and biographies of the artists provide a comprehensive analysis of the classic era of the railway poster.

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