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Poster, London Museum of Practical Geology, 1921, printed 1922

This is a Poster. It was designed by E. McKnight Kauffer and printed by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son and made for (as the client) Underground Electric Railways of London Company Ltd.. It is dated 1921, printed 1922 and we acquired it in 1963. Its medium is offset lithograph on paper, lined. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

ISSUE OF WHAT IS DEPICTED NEEDS TO BE CONFIRMED BY CURATORS. DESCRIPTION CALLS IMAGE "SKYSCRAPER," BUT BASED ON THE MUSEUM ADVERTISED, THE OBJECT'S FORM, AND THE WORD "STIBNITES" UNDER THE DRAWING, I BELIEVE THE DRAWING DEPICTS STIBNITES, A JAGGED MINERAL. When Kauffer arrived in England in the mid-1910s as a painter, he became involved in avant-garde artists' groups. Finding success in posters—and seeing no status differentiation between fine and commercial arts—he decided to give up painting for advertising design. He received his first poster commission in 1915 from Frank Pick, London Underground Electric Railways’ publicity manager, who helped to bring a progressive, modernist image to the Underground. Kauffer eventually designed around 150 posters and car-cards for the Underground. Each poster design typically had a 1,000-issue print run, 150 of which were reserved for selling to individuals, schools, and businesses, who used the modern designs as wall decoration. Kauffer’s posters were widely praised, and he helped to forge a renaissance of British poster design during the interwar period, employing in his designs fine-arts styles from Cubism to expressionism. He promoted simple, geometric designs that attracted attention, as shown in this abstract depiction of the jagged, metallic mineral stibnites that could likely be found at the advertised London Museum of Practical Geology. As was typical of Kauffer, he used a symbolic form rather than a realistic depiction or shocking image to promote a place or product.

This object was donated by Mrs. Edward McKnight Kauffer. It is credited Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer.

Its dimensions are

101.9 × 63.2 cm (40 1/8 × 24 7/8 in.)

It is signed

Signed in black ink, center right: E.McKnight Kauffer, 1921.

It is inscribed

Printed in black ink, lower margin: 1,000. 14. 7. 1. 22.; VINCENT BROOKS DAY & SON Ltd.Lith. London. W.C.2.

Cite this object as

Poster, London Museum of Practical Geology, 1921, printed 1922; Designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer (American, active England, 1890–1954); England; offset lithograph on paper, lined; 101.9 × 63.2 cm (40 1/8 × 24 7/8 in.); Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer; 1963-39-19

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Poster, London Museum of Practical Geology, 1921, printed 1922 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 May 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>