History of the Omnibus – study

Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below. Any auction prices quoted may not include all fees and taxes, such as VAT and Artist's Resale Right charges.

History of the Omnibus -- study

History of the Omnibus – study (aka The Bus Stop and The Buses), 1924
Pencil, ink and watercolour, 26 cm x 75 cm

A preparatory drawing for the large painting/poster installed in the London General Omnibus Company's bus station that opened at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, in June 1924. (The final picture also included horse-drawn buses.)
'[Roberts] robotises his humans and animates his 'buses. Nor does he scruple to turn the stairs round on one 'bus in order the better to provide the full loop of the tail of his design, which undulates with the seductive and well-controlled rhythm of a snake back and across the picture to the 'bus slurring away quickly out of the top right-hand corner' – 'The Whitworth Gallery: Recent Additions', Manchester Guardian, 17 Feb. 1928
PROVENANCE: Sydney Schiff > Contemporary Art Society (1926, as The Buses) > Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (1927)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: New English Art Club 1924 (as The Bus Stop), Australia and New Zealand 1954 (as The Bus Stop), Tate Gallery 1965 (as The Bus Stop), Museum of London 2003 (as The Bus Stop)

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