Day School: The British Poster Art

Ref: C3742984

Poster art in Britain during the 1920s and 1930s was a thriving industry enabled by enlightened clients such as Shell-Mex, the London Underground, and the four railway companies. Many other organisations, including department stores such Bobby & Co, Derry & Toms and Heal’s followed this lead and advertised their products or services via illustrated posters. This day school will explore the works of the pioneers of British poster art – artists include Tom Purvis; E. McKnight Kauffer; Paul Nash; Graham Sutherland

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 the development of poster art in Britain during the 1920's and 1930's • To identify the artists involved and evaluate their contributions

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 some of the leading poster artists in Britain in the inter-war period.
  • Describe how the illustrated poster developed over time.
  • Analyse posters in terms of the art historical and/or social narrative context.
  • Become familiar with places to view vintage posters today and be able to express preferences.

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?

  • Answers to questions. Responses to observations. Informal discussions throughout.

What else do I need to know?

  • Note taking materials.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • A reading list will be provided and reference books from the tutor's own collection will be made available. A handout mapping out the key points and listing the names of artists and designers under discussion will be given.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Participants will be able to use the course content to enhance their own enjoyment of art and design, and to continue studying the subject.

Download full course information sheet

Day School: The British Poster Art


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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