London Transport Museum’s new gallery to display the ‘power of the poster’ next month

Image: Behind the scenes of the poster store at London Transport Museum’s Depot in Acton Town, west London © London Transport Museum

The Global Poster Gallery, set to feature thousands of original poster artworks, will open its doors in October

London Transport Museum has announced the opening date of its new gallery, which will display what it claims is one of the world’s largest collections of 20th century graphic art and design.

The Global Poster Gallery will open on 20 October 2023, and will reveal “the power of the poster” and its influence on mass communication since the 1900s.

The Covent Garden museum’s collection includes around 1,000 original poster artworks and over 30,000 posters housed at its Museum Depot in Acton, west London.

The new gallery, sponsored by outdoor media provider Global, will feature exhibitions sourced from its collection together with loans from private, national, and international archives.

Its first exhibition, How to Make a Poster, will run until 2025, with more than 110 poster artworks and posters from London Transport Museum’s collection on display, including the Underground’s very first pictorial poster, ‘No need to ask a p’liceman’ by John Hassall, dating from 1908.

Left- Poster; No need to ask a p'liceman, by John Hassall, 1908 Right- Poster; Busabout, by Hans Unger and Eberhard Schulze, 1970 (London Transport Museum)

Artworks, posters, and historic objects will also be on display throughout the exhibition from private, national, and commercial collections, including the estate of Abram Games, The Postal Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Shell Heritage Art Collection, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Special Collections Archive, the University of Brighton’s Design Archive and TfL Corporate Archives.

The exhibition has been curated and designed by London Transport Museum and built by Exib with audio-visuals created in partnership with DJW.

Future displays are set to include artist retrospectives and collaborative exhibitions with private, national, and international collections.

Elizabeth McKay, London Transport Museum’s Director said London transport “is at the fore” of poster design and the gallery “will shine a light on this fascinating heritage and celebrate its international influence.”

Matt Brosnan, Head Curator at London Transport Museum added: “The Global Poster Gallery’s opening exhibition will bring together some of the finest posters in the Museum’s collection of graphic art and design in a celebration of commissioning, creativity, and artistic talent that will inspire our visitors.”