The Cartoon Museum exhibits the very finest examples of British cartoons, caricature, and comic art from the 18th century to the present day. There is also a shop, an archive and a reference library.
Museum, Library, Archive
Mon - Sat, 10.30-17.30
Also open Bank Holidays. Closed over Christmas and New Year
Free for Children, U18, Art Fund
Nearest tube: Holborn
There are currently about 900 works in the collection. These include original cartoons, caricatures, drawings, sketches and letters.There is also a selection of eighteenth century original prints. Some rare books featuring the work of cartoon artists are also included in the collection.
Design, Film and Media, Fine Art, Literature, Social History, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- Rare and original artwork on loan from The Beano, the Dandy, and Topper including The Bash Street Kids, Roger the Dodger, Billy the Whizz, Desperate Dan, Beryl the Peril and of course Dennis the Menace.
- Classic works by Gillray including The Plum Pudding and, John Bull - taking a luncheon, and The Zenith of French Glory.
- Cartoons in 3D including Gerald Scarfe¹s memorable Chairman Mao, Scarfe's caricatured original leather armchair from 1971.
- Cartoons by Larry, Kipper Williams, Tony Husband, Nick Newman and many more.
- Emett¹s working ‘Fairway Birdie’ (made by this eccentric cartoonist whose wacky contraptions appeared in Chitty Bang Bang, and at The Festival of Britain.)
- Classic war cartoons including Sir David Low¹s ‘All Behind you, Winston’, and Bruce Bairnsfather¹s, ‘If you know a better ‘Ole...’
- Colour mural painted by top cartoonists including Steve Bell, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Peter Brookes, Chris Riddell, MAC and Hunt Emerson.
- Annual cover drawings by Carl Giles featuring the Giles family and his immortal Granny.
Alice in Cartoonland
- 15 July — 1 November 2015 *on now
Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Cheshire Cat were introduced to the world by Lewis Carroll in 1864 in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A sequel, Through the Looking-glass and What Alice Found introduced more memorable characters including the Jabberwock, Humpty Dumpty, the Walrus and the Carpenter and the Kings, Queens and Knights of the chessboard.
For 150 years the curious creatures from Carroll’s topsy-turvy world have been part of popular culture the world over, not just in books, plays and films, toys, games and millions of products from food to clothing but also in – cartoons!
This is hardly surprising since when Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) was seeking an illustrator for Alice he chose John Tenniel, the leading cartoonist of his day, whose caricatures of Victorian politicians and celebrities appeared every week in the pages the humorous magazine, Punch.
The Alice books are a true collaboration between Dodgson’s extraordinary imagination and Tenniel’s graphic wit: for example, the Hatter’s iconic top hat with it’s pre-decimal price label (‘In this Style, 10/6’) was just one of Tenniel’s many embellishments to Dodgson’s text.
The stories were an instant success as were the illustrations and within a very short time people were using the characters and their quotable lines to make satirical comment on current affairs. Even John Tenniel created a topical cartoon for Punch based on his own illustration of Alice’s encounter with the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle.
Alice in Cartoonland celebrates Alice’s many misadventures at the hands of cartoonists, caricaturists and satirists, animators and graphic artists through 150 years of parodies and pastiches, jibes, jokes and gags aimed at making political points, social comment or just intended to make us laugh.
Artists represented range from Low, Vicky, Shepard and Illingworth to via Searle and ffolkes to Scarfe, Steadman and Rowson. There are Alice posters by Gilroy advertising Guinness, cartoon strips featuring Flook and Snoopy, pages from comics and graphic novels and original animation art from film and TV versions of Alice.
Nearest tube: Holborn
35 Little Russell Street
0207 580 8155
020 7631 0793