The Dramatic Art of the London Underground

Ref: C3742695

This course explores the vast distributed galleries of permanent artworks that have been created across the London Underground network. Study of the illustrations of dramatic and historic events and of famous personalities will enable students to enjoy a wide-ranging review of London's rich past. In addition, those stations serving major art galleries and museums display selections from their treasure troves of fine art and ancient artefacts, from such institutions as the National Galleries, Tate Britain, the British Museum and the Natural History Museum. The course examines these historical and classic works, as well as the more modern art created for the Tube since the 1970's to reflect the local characteristics of the areas served by each station.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by The Education and Skills Funding agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available. Contact the branch for further details.

Course aim

To explore and enjoy the range of permanent art-works by leading artists that adorn the platforms of the stations of the London Underground. To study the history of London, its people and art treasures that the Underground art portrays.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the two Underground stations most identified with the life and case-book of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Find the Underground artworks celebrating the works of Brunel, Halley, Tesla, Wellington and Nelson.
  • Describe two major works by the sculptor and artist Eduardo Paolozzi, one on the Tube, the other at the Design Museum.
  • Identify the two stations displaying art from the National Gallery and the Tate.
  • Describe two of the planned art-works for the stations of Crossrail.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Review of two outstanding books would help students prepare for and reinforce the course learning: - "Underground Heritage" by Antony Badsey-Ellis - "London Underground by Design" by Mark Ovenden

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • The tutor also provides corresponding courses addressing the art of the Paris Metro, the Berlin U-Bahn and the Moscow Metro which may be available in the future from your local WEA branches.

Download full course information sheet

The Dramatic Art of the London Underground


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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