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Space for Art

© london transport museum collection

Space for Art, by Mike A Welch, 1980

  • Medium: Mixed media
  • Dimensions: Width: 440mm, Height: 652mm
  • Reference number: 2006/12935

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The range of entertainment on offer in London provided countless vibrant and enticing subjects for transport posters. Rather than advertising specific venues or events, posters usually promoted general activities such as shopping or going to the theatre. Many aimed to encourage travel to the city in the evenings and at weekends. Others encouraged regular commuters to stay in the city after work, rather than travelling home at rush hour. In the 1930s, posters were also issued with listings of specific events scheduled for that week.
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Museums & galleries

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London Transport posters have promoted travel to almost all of the capital's many museums and galleries. Some advertised the institutions themselves, whilst others promoted special exhibitions. The exotic and eclectic collections offered the poster artist inexhaustible subject matter. Unlike other London attractions, museums and galleries could be represented by subjects and imagery not normally associated with the city, ranging from dinosaurs to ancient Egyptian sculpture.
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London's calendar has always been full of public events. These range from large scale annual events and one-off festivals, for which thousands of Londoners take to the streets, to smaller exhibitions held at a variety of specific venues. Transport companies have always taken the opportunity to promote travel to such events through their posters. On public holidays, when there were no scheduled events to promote, posters encouraged Londoners to travel out into the countryside or to explore the city.
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A wide variety of exhibitions in London have been promoted by posters. They range from large annual events, such as the Motor Show at Olympia, to cattle and dairy shows at Royal Agricultural Hall. Exhibitions have also been held in Underground stations. From the late 1920s to the mid 1960s, a variety of exhibitions were held in the booking hall at Charing Cross (now Embankment). Since 2000, Platform for Art has also exhibited work at stations, particularly on their designated platform at Gloucester Road.
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