Mind the Map

A new exhibition about the inspiration, history and creativity behind London transport maps opened on Friday May 18, 2012. Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography draws on the London Transport Museum’s outstanding map collection to explore the themes of journeys, identity and publicity. The exhibition is the largest of its kind and includes previously unseen historic material and exciting new artworks by leading artists including Simon Patterson, Stephen Walter, Susan Stockwell, Jeremy Wood, Claire Brewster, and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre. The displays explore geographical, diagrammatic and decorative transport maps, as well as the influence of the iconic London Tube map on cartography, art and the public imagination. The Underground, London Transport, and its successor Transport for London, have produced outstanding maps for over 100 years. These have not only shaped the city, they have inspired the world. Looking in particular at the relationship between identity and place, Mind the Map explores the impact maps have had on our understanding of London and how they influence the way we navigate and engage with our surroundings. Mind the Map is accompanied by an extensive public events program and a book to be published by Lund Humphries – London Underground Maps: Inspiring Art, Design and Cartography.

The glorious London Tube map of Harry Beck is the first thing one thinks of when the words ‘map’ and ‘transport’ are wielded. The evolution of Beck’s map gets some coverage at the exhibition, but the show is stolen by a number of lesser known stars.  Susan Stockwell’s map of the world made from transport tickets is not only a work of beauty, but also commemorates a passing era. It couldn’t be done in the era of Oyster cards.

MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill gets the most space, and justifiably so. The artist is often overshadowed by his more famous brother, typographer and sculptor Eric Gill, but his cartoonish maps of London were hugely popular back in the 1920s.

Other highlights include maps from Harry Beck (of course), Simon Patterson (of the Great Bear), Jeremy Wood’s fascinating GPS inspired routes and Stephen Walter’s amazing London Subterranea maps.

Hat-tip to Evan Smythe for the post today.

This entry was posted in Art, Books, Europe, History, Maps, Museums, Tourism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mind the Map

  1. What a treat to see these images. Wow!

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