Wish You Were Here

The history of the humble postcard is the subject of the Postal Museum's brilliant new exhibition. Peter Gray reports.

The Postal Museum’s new exhibition Wish You Were Here tells the story of the British Postcard from its debut in 1870 to the latest digital incarnations of the format.

The show, which began on the 20th of May 2021,  describes itself as a celebration of “the iconic role the postcard has played in connecting people for over 150 years”.


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The advent of the postcard led to faster, cheaper correspondence as well as an exciting new way to send messages, whether declarations of love, holiday hellos or war time communications.

The British public soon took the new medium to their hearts, sending millions of postcards to loved ones and friends.

Visitors to the museum will be able to explore a series of displays about the history of the postcard, with sections on romance, First World War correspondence, the Great British seaside and postcards in the digital age.

Highlights of the show include: the very first British postcard from 1870, a series of nostalgic ‘saucy seaside’ postcards by Bamforth & Co Ltd, as well as a selection of postcards sent by servicemen serving in the 1st World War.


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The final section of the exhibition will explore contemporary postcard design and how the artists of today have learnt to ‘remix’ postcard design for the modern age. Artists featured in the exhibition include Emily May, Francesca Colussi Cramer and Guy Atkins.

Exhibition goers will be able to take away their very own unique keepsake with the Postal Museum collaborating with the acclaimed postal art specialist Peter Liversedge to produce four bespoke postcard designs.


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Wish You Were Here: 151 Years Of British Postcard Design is at the Postal Museum from the 20th of May 2021 until the 2nd of January 2022. Admission for the exhibition is included in entry to The Postal Museum.

More information about the exhibition can be found here.

For information on other great exhibitions in London, please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: postcard exhibition
When: 20 May 21 - 2 Jan 22
Where: Postal Museum