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London Transport posters: Seeing it Through

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Mar 12th, 2017. Artwork published in .
    110.jpg
    Source: https://auctions.posterauctions.com Image: Poster Auctions International, Inc. License: All Rights Reserved.

    This poster “features a poem by A.P. Herbert, Virtues of the Bus Driver, whose final stanza reads in part: ‘Bus driver, bus driver, the sirens have gone: The bombs may come down, but the buses go on.’” — PAI

    Poster Auctions International, Inc.:

    One of Britain’s most significant war artists, E.H. Kennington’s work now hangs in the Imperial War Museum; his bust of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) is in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Anticipating World War II, he planned camouflage schemes for London’s most prominent landmarks. His WWII poster series “Seeing it Through” for London Transport is widely admired for championing the quiet heroism of London’s municipal workers, who fought the fires and comforted Londoners during the Blitz.

    111.jpg
    Source: https://auctions.posterauctions.com Image: Poster Auctions International, Inc. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “A second poster in the “Seeing it Through” series for London Transport, this one championing firefighters, addresses a curious side effect of Londoners' famous "Keep Calm and Carry On" attitude: a compartmentalization of mind. By 1944, it'd been four years since the Blitz. Like the years after 9/11, life had returned to ‘normal’; as A.P. Herbert’s poem reads, ‘Once upon a time we used to throw you [firefighters] roses; you don't see quite such a cloud of them today... But you are on the job still, we are in your keeping, / And one fine night we'll be glad of you again.’ In September 1944, London was terrorized by V-2 rocket attacks; the poem's sentiment dates this poster to 1944's earlier months.” — PAI

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