When the Cartoon Museum moved to Little Russell Street, London in February 2006, their collection of works numbered about 1,500. It has now grown to 4,200 works. Since that date, it has put on 50 exhibitions of cartoons, comics, caricature, graphic novels and animation in London’s West End. And now the Cartoon Museum will show you the best of the best.
50 Glorious Shows! is the museum’s 51st exhibition at the venue, and will feature highlights from all the site’s previous exhibitions. It will also showcase many of the artworks, which the museum has acquired for the collection during that period.
50 Glorious Shows! will contain over 170 original works by classic cartoonists over centuries including Hogarth, Gillray, Tenniel, Heath Robinson, Pont, H .M. Bateman, E. H. Shepard and Ronald Searle. And more recent comic artists and graphic novelists such as Dudley D. Watkins, Ken Reid, Hunt Emerson, Dave Gibbons, David Lloyd, Posy Simmonds and Bryan Talbot . And work from cartoonists including Sally Artz, Larry, Frank Dickens, Mike Williams, Michael Heath, Kipper Williams, Peattie and Taylor.
The show will include works of satire from the Spitting Image, €urobollocks! Bell Époque, Maggie! Maggie! Maggie!, Punch, Private Eye and Steadman at 77 exhibitions, as well as some recent donations by the rising generation of political cartoonists.
It also includes the work of caricaturists Max Beerbohm, Mark Boxer, Robert Sherriffs and Trog.
Other exhibitions have looked at how cartoons and comics have reflected social, cultural, and political changes, including two world wars, the changing face of marriage, the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and our relationship with alcohol.
The museum’s collection have mostly been acquired through donations and bequests by artists and their families, collectors, and Friends of the Museum. And with the support of organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends and Trustees of the Cartoon Museum, the museum has been able to buy artworks and significantly extend its holdings of rare items such as a Beano cover by Dudley D. Watkins, a Gillray printing plate and the original 1961 advertising poster for Private Eye.
All these will be on display in 50 Glorious Shows!, opening on March 28th and running through to September.