London Zoo animals

Another book of artistic postcards, this time with posters for London Transport to the zoo in the ’20s and ’30s, featuring gorgeous stylized animals, as depicted by artists and designers of the time. Very hard indeed to pick just a few, but here I’ll reproduce three.

Background about the posters, from the Pomegranate Press site:

London Zoo: Art for London Transport Book of Postcards

The world’s first subterranean railway, the London Underground opened in 1863 and now provides three million rides daily. In 1908, Underground executive Frank Pick began seeking out the country’s best artists and designers to produce advertising posters for the expanding transit system. Pick recognized the potential of this new graphic medium, born just a decade earlier but already transforming the urban space, and the Underground became an important patron of the arts and an acknowledged leader in the field of poster publicity.

For a century, copies of every poster produced for the Underground and its affiliates were kept, and when the collection was transferred to London Transport Museum in the 1980s, it contained more than five thousand printed posters and almost one thousand original artworks. Steadily growing since then, the collection offers a uniquely comprehensive overview of a century of British graphic design. This book of postcards reproduces thirty Underground posters advertising travel to London Zoo—one of the city’s favorite public-transport destinations.

First, a wonderful playful caricature of a chameleon — a chameleon of the mind — by Oleg Zinger from 1935:


About Zinger, from French Wikipedia (there’s an entry in German Wikipedia too, but not, apparently, in English Wikipedia):

Oleg Zinger est un peintre contemporain franco-russe né à Moscou le 3 février 1910 et mort à Nîmes le 9 janvier 1998. Son père, Alexandre Zinger, est un savant, ayant notamment rédigé quelques ouvrages sur la physique et la botanique, et sa mère, Vera Pawlova, est une actrice du théâtre d’art de Moscou.

Notamment peintre animalier, on retrouve principalement dans les œuvres d’Oleg ses goûts, pris très jeune, pour la nature et les animaux mais également son goût pour le jazz, qu’il découvrira plus tard par ses voyages en France et aux États-Unis.

Another Zinger, a spectral lemur from 1933:


Then from another hand, Charles Paine in 1921, some penguins:


From the London Transport Museum Shop:

Charles Paine was a versatile and prolific designer. His training started with an apprenticeship in stained glass. He also attended evening classes at Manchester School of Art, before moving to London to further his study. His time at the Royal College of Art however was interrupted by military service. During the 1920s he designed posters for the Underground Group and in the 1930s he lived and worked in Welwyn Garden City, before moving to Jersey.

2 Responses to “London Zoo animals”

  1. Penguins and cartoon porn | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] The mug shows a 1921 poster by Charles Paine (seen on this blog in “London zoo animals”): […]

  2. Plant life by public transport | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] a previous posting, I looked at posters, by various artists, exhorting people to take public transport to the London […]

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