In a new exhibition hosted by Covent Garden's London Transport Museum, the work of female poster artists will be highlighted and championed. With over 150 original posters and artworks on display, the exhibition celebrates the often hidden contribution of female artists to the rise of the poster over the last one hundred years.
Showcasing some of the leading female artists who have worked for London Transport and Transport for London including well-known designers, such as Mabel Lucie Attwell, Laura Knight, Enid Marx and Zandra Rhodes, alongside lesser-known individuals who nonetheless changed the way Londoners viewed their city, the works on display show a dazzling spectrum of artistic styles and mediums.
In total, at least 170 women are known to have been commissioned by the capital’s transport system since 1910. Many more are likely to have designed posters for the system, their identity hidden by initials, subsumed under the name of an Advertising Agency, or simply unsigned. For the first time, this exhibition attempts to recognise some of these forgotten design heroines.
Sam Mullins, Director of London Transport Museum, said: “By theming our latest poster exhibition around the work of female artists and designers, we are providing a new filter through which to appreciate the Museum’s world-class poster collection. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the changing social, economic and political conditions that affected women’s lives and work over the last century – which is rather fitting as we approach the centenary in 2018 of votes for women.”
Ruth Sykes, graphic designer and associate lecturer in graphic design at Central Saint Martins, said: “These artists have and continue to make an incredibly important contribution to poster design but generally they are not as well-known as their male contemporaries. The Poster Girls exhibition will help to redress this by bringing their work to the attention of a wider public audience.”
The public programme of Poster Girls events – including talks and Friday Lates will be announced in September, so stayed tuned to ltmuseum.co.uk for more details.
Main image: Children's London, by Carol Barker, 1973 | All images courtesy of the London Transport Museum