Percy Drake BROOKSHAW
(London 1907 - London 1993)
Signed DRAKE BROOKSHAW at the lower left.
257 x 385 mm. (10 1/8 x 15 1/8 in.) [image]
315 x 435 mm. (12 3/8 x 17 1/8 in.) [sheet]
The first London Underground poster advertising the annual Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race was produced in 1911. Although the earliest examples were fairly traditional in appearance, this changed in later years. As one scholar has written, ‘Throughout the 1920’s, the London Underground continued to distribute posters advertising the Boat Race, many of which were now produced by more innovative and modernist-inspired artists brought in under the leadership of Frank Pick. Among these were Charles Paine and Percy Drake Brookshaw, both of whom produced posters featuring boats seen from an aerial perspective and with a strong emphasis on the geometrical forms made by the boats as they sped through the water.’
Born in Southwark in London, Percy Drake Brookshaw studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. A painter in oils and watercolours as well as a lithographer, he was encouraged by the poster and textile designer F. Gregory Brown to turn his hand to working as an illustrator, poster designer and graphic artist. Brookshaw designed advertising posters for London Transport and the Underground Group between 1928 and 1958, often depicting such annual sporting events as the Lawn Tennis Finals at Wimbledon, the cricket at Lords, football Cup Finals at Wembley1 and the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race on the river Thames. Brookshaw taught lithography at Goldsmith’s College School of Art in London in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, and was a member of the Art Workers Guild and the Senefelder Club. He also worked occasionally as an illustrator, notably providing illustrations for an edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, published in 1925.