"Tube art hunting (underground)" Underground, Tubes & Trains Tip by Trekki
Underground, Tubes & Trains, London: 29 reviews and 80 photos
As fascinating the overground architecture and design of London’s underground is as magnificent is its underground. Many of Leslie Green’s stations (see previous tip) have similar design, for example the Edwardian tile patterns, Douglas Rose describes in detail on his website. But there is more, almost every station within Inner London has wonderful tiling, mostly following the station’s name. Douglas Rose describes it as “probably the largest single creation of decorative art on public display anywhere” and I fully second that. Marble Arch for example (main photo) with a tiled arch, Piccadilly shows Eros (photo 2) in the yellow tiles directly at the bottom of the escalators, Bank has the griffin, the City’s symbol, surrounding the sign. There are more, but sadly I didn’t get off at some stations just to take photos. But next time I will do so.
Oh and the tube sign, this oh so famous roundel, the symbol of the tube, one of London’s most famous icons and present on almost every devotional articles one can buy in the fantastic shop of London’s Transport Museum (and elsewhere, but I recommend the shop, as it has the best variety). It is fascinating to read the history of this lovely red circle with the blue bar on London’s Transport Museum website. It was designed already in 1908, thus celebrating 100 years in 2008, but was modified several times. Over the years, all London transport adapted it, albeit in different colours. Underground still has the classic colours (red circle and blue bar), while buses have red circle and red bar. DLR (Docklands Light Railway, not exactly belonging to London Underground) has its characteristic turquoise circle and the classic blue bar.
But that’s not all the art to look for under London’s ground. There are constant new installmenst of artists in the many stations. Transport for London has parts of their website entirely devoted to Art on the Underground. I even found out later back home that a poster I was looking at several times during my travels in Piccadilly Line is part of this art: Nils Norman and his Fantasy Art.
For a nice phototour of some stations look here: London’s underground stations.
Some funny and interesting tube facts found on UK's Telegraph:
150 fascinating Tube facts.
And last but not least, I would like to draw your attention to a special artwork with themes the roundel, seen in London’t Transport Museum: look at photo 5. This is a collage which has been made with items lost and never reclaimed by passengers in the trains. Isn’t it fantastic?
Address: (all over "under" London)
Directions: Located Throughout the City.
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