In a corner of Farringdon…

I’d read about this before and photocopied it lovingly into my research for at least 2 projects, but stumbling onto one of my favourite street advertising installations/interventions was something I won’t forget quickly.

Over the course of twelve weeks in summer the streets of Soho, Piccadilly and Covent Garden were lined with some of the world’s most famous paintings, turning the West End into a giant gallery.

Walkers were able to use our interactive map to find out which paintings were hanging where, or they could pick one of the specially designed tours, print out a map and download an audio guide for inside information on the paintings.

More adventurous enthusiasts could create their own tour by picking the paintings they wanted to see, and then calling the phone numbers listed at each painting site to get the who, the why, the what and the when.

All the paintings on The Grand Tour™ were beautiful reproductions produced by our sponsors Hewlett Packard. But don’t worry – you can still visit the real thing every day free of charge in the National Gallery collection.

At the office of the consultancy behind the concept, it seems one of the replica prints has stayed out to play. Unfortunately, I think the installations/interventions as a whole are no longer alive and kicking, but we can always hope for a reprisal! The Grand Tour website is still active and records the locations and titles of each of the paintings included in the project: http://www.thegrandtour.org.uk/index.html

Also, I could not let the branded gates of The Partners go without comment, as the angle of approach dictated the emerging appearance of the company name on the gates. Beautiful!

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