Monday, June 4, 2018

Fred Taylor: Poster Art for the LNER and Others

Fred Taylor (1875-1963) was one of the many talented artists who created art for British railway company travel posters.

Biographical information on him is truly sketchy. A National Railway Museum publication in my library has the following:

"Born in London, he studied at Goldsmith's College and worked at the Waring and Gillow Studio. In 1930 he was commissioned to design four ceiling paintings for the Underwriting Room at Lloyd's and murals for Reed's Lacquer Room. He worked in naval camouflage during the Second World War. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and other galleries in London, and worked for the Empire Marketing Board, LNER, London Transport and several shopping companies."

And that's all I could find. The above blurb essentially deals with what he did starting at age 55.

The images below are of some of the poster art he did for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) along with a few others in the 1920s and 1930s. Some of his 1930s work for LNER is similar in style to that of Tom Purvis, a more critically acclaimed poster artist who I wrote about here. Most of his poster illustrations are made in more traditional styles. Regardless, they are skillfully done. They were also popular with the general public, if the criterion is sales of posters. Moreover, Taylor was the best-paid LNER poster artist.


Judging by the costumes, this was probably done in the early-to-mid 1920s.

Even though I've sailed from there, I had't realized that once upon a time Harwich was a port for steamships going to Belgium, Germany, etc. Note some items projecting beyond the frame at the left.

A Tom Purvis style poster. Perhaps the LNER at the time was interested in consistent images.

Petergate, in York: Minster in the background.

Historical scene: Captain Cook's departure in 1776.

Two railroads cited here, so I'm not sure who commissioned this.

It seems Taylor also did some work for the GWR.

Subtle color scheme for a travel poster, but nice.

A city close to York, and well worth a short visit.

Evocative Piccadilly Circus illustration. This was done in 1925.


Paul Sullivan said...


Great stuff!


johnnyman said...

Wonderful work, I wish I could know more about this guy, especially what medium he used. Some look like multi-stage silk screens, but others look like gouache paintings. Compelling, such nice designs.

Unknown said...

Definitely gouache, I own a few of his original paintings, including an advertising piece commissioned for Warner Fabrics, and they are mostly in gouache although two sketches are in a slightly different style using pen and ink with a watercolour wash.