Shell Heritage Art Collection News

Shell Art & Advertising Publication

Shell Brands International and the National Motor Museum Trust hosted collection, the Shell Heritage Art Collection, in association with the publisher, Lund Humphries, are pleased to announce their new publication Shell Art & Advertising.  Written by the authors Scott Anthony, Oliver Green and Margaret Timmers, with contributions by the Shell Heritage Art Collection Manager, Nicky Balfour Penney and a foreword by the artist, David Gentleman, the book will be published on 6 September 2021.

Drawing primarily on the Shell Heritage Art Collection’s extensive poster collection, as well as film, cartoon graphics and guidebooks, this book is the first to present a comprehensive overview of Shell’s artistic heritage.  The key contributions made by some major artists and designers including Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Ben Nicholson and Edward McKnight Kauffer are highlighted and beautifully reproduced from original archive material, and broader questions are explored, such as Shell’s position within contemporary debates regarding the aesthetics of ‘Commercial Art’. By delving into the ways in which Shell’s publicity was conceived, commissioned and disseminated in the 20th century, the authors examine the historical and social contexts of Shell’s advertising and assess the work’s broader cultural significance in shaping an era defined by travel, prosperity and mass democracy.

Shell Art & Advertising provides valuable insights into the development of commercial art in the UK. Featuring a wealth of fascinating images, this original publication will appeal to cultural historians and motoring enthusiasts, as well as fans of Modern British Art.

About the book

Shell Art & Advertising by Scott Anthony, Oliver Green, Margaret Timmers, with contributions by Nicky Balfour Penney and a foreword by David Gentleman.

  • ISBN 978-1-84822-378-3
  • 270 x 249 mm
  • Hardback
  • 208 pages
  • 120 colour and 50 b&w illustrations
  • UK Publication 6 September 2021
  • US Publication 15 January 2022
  • £39.95/$79.99

About the authors

Scott Anthony is a writer and historian. His books include Night Mail (2007), The Projection of Britain (with James Mansell, 2011) and The Story of Propaganda (2021). Nicky Balfour Penney (contributor) is the Shell Heritage Art Collection Manager. Oliver Green is former Head Curator and now Research Fellow at the London Transport Museum and a freelance historian and museums consultant. His publications include London’s Underground: The Story of the Tube (2019), Frank Pick’s London: Art, Design and the Modern City (2013), British Aviation Posters: Art, Design and Flight (with Scott Anthony, Lund Humphries, 2012). Margaret Timmers was formerly Senior Curator of Prints in the Word & Image Department of the V&A. She is the editor of The Power of the Poster (1998) and co-editor with Gill Saunders of The Poster: A Visual History (2020).


Oaklodge Poster Art Project

Following on from the success of our Oaklodge Poster Art Project in 2019, we were delighted to be able to work with the school and pupils again.  Pupils of Oak Lodge, a Specialist Arts College for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, created these artworks inspired by Shell’s historic poster advertising, the grounds at Beaulieu and the museum vehicles during the pupils’ visit to Beaulieu in 2020.  Shortly after the UK went into lockdown and put the project on hold, however the students continued to work on their sketches and photographs and were able to complete their excellent work for their GCSE art coursework in 2021. The pupils explored a range of different media to produce their final designs from printmaking, textiles, painting to drawing.  The finished artworks were then placed within traditional text borders using adapted Shell advertising slogans to complete their poster design.

The Shell Heritage Art Collection and the National Motor Museum Trust are proud to present the following series of contemporary transport posters designed by pupils of Oak Lodge.







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