You are browsing the archive for William Heath Robinson.

by Royston

Music to the ears of Hoffnung fans

May 17, 2011 in Events

Hoffnung music cartoon
Sometimes a cartoonist becomes inextricably likned with a particular topic and for Gerard Hoffnung it was music.

A tuba player himself, Hoffnung (1925-1959) made music the central subject of his work. He was born in Berlin, but Hoffnung’s family moved to London to escape the Nazis in 1939. Though he died only 20 years later, aged 34, he managed to establish himself as a cartoonist with a very English sense of humour.

That humour can be seen in touring exhibition of his work, drawn from the Hoffnung family’s own collection, which is coming to the Chris Beetles Gallery in London. It features many of his best-known musical cartoons.

The gallery will be displaying it alongside the work of William Heath Robinson, in an exhibition called Instruments and Inventions. The exhibition opens on May 25 and runs until June 22. For more details, visit the Chris Beetles Gallery website.

by Royston

Heath Robinson comes home

March 8, 2011 in Events, News

Heath Robinson domestic cartoon

An exhibition of cartoons by William Heath Robinson is being held in Pinner, in the London Borough of Harrow, where the artist lived and worked for ten years.

The show, called Machines and Inventions, after the elaborate and somewhat improbable contraptions for which Heath Robinson is famous, will be held at West House in Pinner Memorial Park from March 19 until April 17.

The Chris Beetles Gallery is putting on the exhibition, which features 80 cartoons. They will be added to a major exhibition of work by Heath Robinson to be held in May at Chris Beetles’ own gallery in St James’s, Central London.
Heath Robinson railway cartoon

The show reflects a very English response to progress, particularly the technological developments of the early 20th century. Exhibited for the first time is a group of cartoons from Railway Ribaldry, which was published by the Great Western Railway in 1935. It’s hard to imagine any of today’s railway companies being happy to laugh at themselves in the same manner. Right: A simple device for preventing railway policemen from being run down when walking on the line.

Heath Robinson and his family lived in Pinner from 1908 to 1918. The exhibition is being staged in conjunction with the West House and Heath Robinson Museum Trust, which has raised more than £1,400,000 to transform the building. As well as a gallery, it is used as a venue for conferences and as a memorial to commemorate the people of Pinner who died in the two world wars.

You can view Machines and Inventions, which is a selling exhibition, online at the Chris Beetles Gallery.

UPDATED: 9th March 2011

PCOer Robert Duncan writes to say;

Thanks Bloghorn. That other famous cartoonist Robert Duncan was also brought up in Pinner, and kissed his first girl in West House. Her glasses got in the way.

Angst, underlying sexual tension, passion and a rites of passage journey. You get it all on Bloghorn.

Beetles and Cats

August 4, 2010 in General, News

"You'd better release their ball. They've kidnapped the cat" by Norman Thelwell

The Chris Beetles Gallery in London has an exhibition of cat cartoons, illustrations and paintings opening later this month, titled Louis Wain and the Summer Cat Show 2010.

This show marks the 30th annual exhibition of British cat art at Chris Beetles. Alongside work by the eccentric Edwardian cat artist, Louis Wain, the exhibition features cartoons and sketches by William Heath Robinson, Norman Thelwell and Ronald Searle, although some of the paintings on show do remind Bloghorn of the infamous Viz commemorative plate The Life of Christ in Cats.

Louis Wain and the Summer Cat Show will be showing at the Chris Beetles Gallery, 8 & 10 Ryder St, St James’s, London, from August 14 to September 4, opening hours 10am – 5.30pm, Monday – Saturday. For more details go to

Bloghornery – June 2010

June 30, 2010 in Comment

Foghorn Bloghorn for The UK Professional Cartoonists’ OrganisationThings the Foghorn saw this month…