We decided we wanted to create our own 21st century versions of those classic posters. And then, when other artists and collectors old us they they thought it was a great idea, we decided we’d like to encourage a whole new generation of artists to create their own posters as well.
And so we set up The Great Brunel Railway Company. A 21st century virtual railway whose sole purpose is to create new travel posters, helping contemporary landscape and travel artists to sell their work online. (And yes, we do like to tell people that we have our own railway company.)
Where are we located?
We live in the UK and are located in Innospace, the new ventures incubator of Manchester Metropolitan University, which is also the home of the Manchester School of Art.
How does The Great Brunel Railway Company work?
We encourage artists to create new designs for railway posters. Then we print them – using the highest quality state of the art giclee printing equipment and heavy, art-quality paper. We regularly run Competitions to encourage the creation of new art by up and coming artists. All our artists earn a commission on every print we sell. And they get the chance to showcase their work online.
If you’re a collector please take a look at our Gallery.
And if you’re an Artist find out more about what we’re looking for in our Artists section.
Why are we called The Great Brunel Railway Company?
Because we are great admirers of the great 19th century railway and ship engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. And, in our own small way, we aim to be pioneers just like him.
If you don’t know him, IK Brunel was one of the great railway engineers of the 19th century. He created the Great Western Railway, whose logo inspired our own. Although he died in 1859, long before the golden age of the travel poster, Brunel set the standard for excellence in railway design and construction.
Isambard Brunel was not just a great railway engineer. He was also a visionary. As early as the first half of the 19th century he came up with the idea of fully integrated intercontinental travel. A concept that even today few others have achieved. In west London he designed and built Paddington Station, where a statue of him stands today. From there his Great Western Railway connected London directly to Bristol, via bridges and tunnels all built by Brunel. At Bristol travelers could then take one of Brunel’s pioneering great iron ships from the docks – once again all designed and built by Brunel – and sail directly to New York. One company that would handle one journey – from one continent to another.
In just the same way – but, we admit, on a rather more modest scale – the Great Brunel Railway Company hopes to build a community of artists and collectors worldwide – bound together by a shared love of travel art.
© The Great Brunel Railway Company 2014. Poster images courtesy of National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Library