Monday, 21 May 2012

Mind The Map

I LOVE MAPS, there I have said it out loud and I particularly love the art of the London Underground maps and posters.  Yesterday I visited the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden for the first time!

I had seen a mention of a new exhibition called Mind the Map on Twitter and knew that I needed to visit.  It opened last week and runs until 28th October 2012 and is free to enter once you have purchased a ticket for the museum for £13.50.  This is not as bad as it sounds as the ticket is then valid for 12 months and I will definitely use mine again.

'Mind The Map, Inspiring art, design and cartography' is how the exhibition is billed and it doesn't disappoint. It shows the work of Harry Beck and MacDonald Gill as well as contemporary art works based on their designs.

Although I have looked at the Underground map a million times I was unaware of how many changes had happened over the years.  The art and design on display is fascinating and there are a number of talks, walks and activities linked to this.  Last year I read Walk the Lines by Mark Mason and he is leading a walking tour on Saturday 14th July.

The rest of the museum is equally good and it is great that you can go into vehicles and get the feel of them...some of the train carriages felt very dark and eerie and make you appreciate how design makes a difference even on a train or bus journey!

Other books worth a look:

Mapping London, Making Sense of the City by Simon Foxell
Mrs P's Journey by Sarah Hartley (the lady who devised the A-Z map)

Stanford's in Longacre is the place to go for the most amazing selection of books about London.  I discovered on my last visit that as it is 2012 the London section has moved upstairs to take centre stage!