London Underground WWII Posters - The Proud City
The London Underground pioneered the practice of using the
poster as an advertising medium to encourage and increase ridership.
Cultural, historical and entertainment destinations were promoted.
As the Underground expanded posters were used to encourage house-hunters
to move to the newly developed areas on the rural fringes of London.
During the First World War the poster took on a propaganda function.
Posters encouraged men to join the armed services. Posters of
bucolic English scenes were sent to soldiers on the front as a
reminder of home. The Twenties and Thirties were periods of rapid
expansion of the system. Similarly the quantity and quality of
Underground posters kept pace. The Underground Group became a
patron of the arts and embraced an astonishing range of graphic
styles that were developing at the time. The Second World War
put an abrupt halt to leisure and unnecessary travel. The posters
were used to provide information and to maintain the morale of
both passengers and staff. London Transport provided an invaluable
service for thousands of Londoners by opening the deep-level tube
stations for use as air raid shelters. "The Proud City",
a series of six posters by Walter Spradbery, celebrated London's
survival during the Blitz. Each image of war ravaged buildings
is accompanied by a quotation from a noted British poet or historical
document. Spradbery himself remarked that the posters were intended
to convey "the sense that havoc itself is passing and with
new days come new hopes."
A NEW VIEW OF ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL FROM BREAD STREET - Walter
Spradbery ". . .the principal Ornament of our royal City,
to the Honour of our Government and of this our Realm. . ."
- Letters Patent under the Great Seal of England the 12th day
Nov. 1673. Signed Walter Spradbery in the stone lower right. 25"
x 40" Mounted on linen. (Stock Number 003London01) (FF5)
THE NOBLE FABRIC OF THE CHURCH OF ST. CLEMENT DANES - Walter
Spradbery "When the fair columns of St. Clement stand Whose
straiten'd bounds encroach upon the Strand" - John Gay. Signed
Walter Spradbery in the stone lower right. 25" x 40"
Mounted on linen. (Stock Number 003London02) (FF5) SOLD
ST. THOMAS'S HOSPITAL AND THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT - Walter
Spradbery "Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight
so touching in its majesty" - William Wordsworth "Upon
Westminster Bridge." Signed Walter Spradbery in the stone
lower right. 25" x 40" Mounted on linen. (Stock Number
003London03) (FF5) SOLD
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