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Cartoon Museum re-opening

July 8, 2019 in Events, General, News

Clive Goddard writes:

Spread over two nights last week, so that the maximum number of people could turn up, London’s new Cartoon Museum opened its doors and let a few highly important guests have a good gawp around. The glamorous Cartoonerati turned out in force to see the newly renovated (if not quite finished) museum which has moved to a large basement in Wells Street, Fitzrovia. 

It was one of those rare hot and humid days in the city which tested the air-conditioning to its limits and reduced most of the attendant humans to sweaty, ink-stained wrecks. However, there was cold wine provided as well as unidentified little things on plates and a communal defibrillator to keep everyone conscious. Speeches were made by Oliver Preston, new director Becky Jeffcoate, our own Steve Bell who had selected and hung the artwork for the show, and Baron (Kenneth) Baker of Dorking (the 84 year old politician not the bloke who used to trundle around inside R2-D2).

The new museum has the same floor area as the old one but is now all on one level and has a safer, cheaper lease so it should be safe for a while yet.

Gerard Whyman, the PCO’s trusty lens-man (©The Sun 1974), came all the way from Newport and took these photos. Which was nice.


Nick Newman perusing the comics gallery.

Museum director Becky Jeffcoate being very amused by Mr Goddard’s colonoscopy anecdote.

A sun-bronzed Glenn Marshall pretending he drew the Hogarths. (Ed: What do you mean pretend? Hogarth’s and my work are virtually indistinguishable!)

A cut-out Kate Charlesworth enjoys a glass of fizz.

All photos © Ger Whyman

NB If anyone has any good pictures of Opening Part II let us know and we’ll add them.

by Royston

Let's talk about Maggie

June 15, 2009 in News


Margaret Thatcher caricatured by Charles Griffin

The Cartoon Museum in London has a series of talks coming up by Kenneth Baker, John Minnion and Steve Bell, to tie-in with the exhibition Maggie! Maggie! Maggie!

Margaret Thatcher – A Unique Phenomenon takes place on Tuesday 16th June, 6.30pm – 7.30pm. From 1985 to 1990 Kenneth Baker was a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s administrations. He is a collector and writer on cartoons and co-curator of the exhibition.

Where There is Discord: The Mrs Thatcher Show is on Tuesday 23rd June, 6.30pm – 7.30pm. John Minnion, caricaturist for the New Statesman, has put together a presentation using caricatures and music to tell the story of the Thatcher years.

Maggie – the Monster from the Blue Lagoon? takes place on Wednesday 1st July, 7pm – 8pm. Steve Bell began drawing Margaret Thatcher in “Maggie’s Farm” and later in “If…”. He has been the chief political cartoonist on The Guardian since 1990. He talks about his three decades of drawing Margaret Thatcher.

Admission prices: Adults £5, Conc £4, Friends of the Museum £3.50. Booking is essential, call 020-7580 8155. The exhibition runs until July 26. The Cartoon Museum, at 35 Little Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London is open Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am to 5.30pm and Sundays 12pm to 5.30pm.

What cartoons mean to me – Steve Bell

May 6, 2009 in General

Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell answers the question ‘What do cartoons mean to you?’ at the recent Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival. He and former Conservative Education Secretary Kenneth Baker have co-curated the Thatcher retrospective exhibition Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! which opens to the public at the Cartoon Museum today.

The UK’s National Cartoon Museum is at 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH.

SHREWSBURY UPDATE: Alex Lester, night-time DJ on BBC Radio 2, visited the cartoon festival this year, at the invitation of PCOer Clive Goddard. Here is Alex’s personal account.

by Royston

Margaret Thatcher: Two cartoon views

May 3, 2009 in Comment


Margaret Thatcher caricatured by Charles Griffin

It was 30 years ago today (May 4) that Margaret Thatcher walked through the doors of 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister, quoting the words of St. Francis of Assisi. Opinion is still sharply divided on whether or not she managed to bring harmony where there was discord, or hope where there was despair.

The two contrasting views on the Iron Lady will be represented in an exhibition which opens at the Cartoon Museum in London on Wednesday (May 6) entitled Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Margaret Thatcher – Mother of the Nation or Monster from the Blue Lagoon.

The exhibition, which runs until July 26, is guest curated by two veterans of the ideological battles of the Thatcher years: Kenneth Baker, who served in the Thatcher cabinet from 1985 until 1990, and Steve Bell, political cartoonist for The Guardian who established his reputation as a fierce satirist during the Thatcher Years. No prizes for guessing which view each curator will be taking.

The exhibition aims to show how Thatcher has been both loved and loathed by politicians, the press and the public. The selection of nearly 100 cartoons by 35 cartoonists from across the political spectrum includes works by Bell himself, Michael Cummings, Stanley Franklin, Nicholas Garland, Les Gibbard, Charles Griffin, Jak, Peter Kennard, Gerald Scarfe, Posy Simmonds and Ralph Steadman.

It chronicles her rise to power, the Falklands war, the miners’ strike, privatisation, the poll tax, Europe, her eventual downfall and her long term impact on both the Conservative and Labour parties.

A fully illustrated 100-page catalogue will be available to accompany the show, it includes contributions by the two curators, along with such diverse types as Lord Carrington, Michael Foot, Geoffrey Howe, Ken Loach, David Owen, David Steel and Norman Tebbit.

The Cartoon Museum, at 35 Little Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London is open Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am to 5.30pm and Sundays 12pm to 5.30pm.

The BBC have a short preview piece available here.

And in the interests of balance, and because you probably can’t turn your computer monitor upside down …


Symbolism in cartoons

August 18, 2008 in General

Ever wondered why some newspaper cartoons have so many symbols and badges in them? Let PCOer Martin Rowson explain a little about it in this Radio 4 interview about the symbolism of Russia as a giant bear. Clip from the Today programme.

British cartoon talent