35 Little Russell Street
0207 580 8155
020 7631 0793
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, Gallery, 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.
Never Again! World War I in Cartoon and Comic Art
- 11 June — 19 October 2014 *on now
Some of the most powerful and memorable images from the First World War are by cartoonists. From the earliest days of the war, British cartoonists such as Alfred Leete, Bruce Bairnsfather, William Heath Robinson and Donald McGill were at the forefront of propaganda battles aimed at bolstering the war effort, ridiculing the enemy and sustaining the nation through the four long years of conflict.
Never Again! World War I in Cartoon and Comic Art brings together over 300 images, ranging from political and joke cartoons from newspapers and magazines to colourful comic postcards by the likes of Donald McGill and Douglas Tempest on a huge range of subjects, including life in the trenches, popular songs, food shortages and air raids. There are also children’s comics such as Picture Fun and Comic Life, cigarette cards and maps. Also on display are rare German and French postcards, and trench publications produced by serving soldiers, many of which featured cartoons, which have been extensively researched by Professor Jane Chapman from the University of Lincoln, who has contributed to the exhibition.
The exhibition also features some more recent material such as Ralph Steadman’s reworking of Leete’s famous Kitchener design; Charley’s War, the classic 1980s comic strip by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun, which depicts the horrors of trench warfare; and drawings from the ‘Horrible Histories’ book The Frightful First World War by Terry Deary and Martin Brown.
- Any age
£7, £5, £3, Free to Under-18s, Friends of Cartoon Museum, Art Fund members. Includes all museum displays
1914 Day-by-Day Cartoons
- 28 June — 16 November 2014 *on now
Every week from 28 June to 4 August two new artworks will be revealed online and in the Cartoon Museum's gallery. Participants include Steve Bell, Peter Brookes, Steven Camley, Kate Charlesworth, Alan Cowsill & Lalit Kumar Sharma, Achim Greser & Heribert Lenz, John McCrea & Ferg Handley, Jon McNaught, Woodrow Phoenix, Zoom Rockman, Posy Simmonds and Ralph Steadman. The 1914 Day-by-Day display will remain on display at the museum until 16 November 2014
- Any age
£7, £5, £3, Free to Under-18s, Friends of the Cartoon Museum and Art Fund Members
Moose Kid Comics
- 20 September 2014 2-6pm
For one afternoon only, the brand new children's comic Moose Kid Comics is taking over the Cartoon Museum. Come along and learn how to invent ridiculous characters, and create amazing comics, with the best comics artists around!
There will be workshops by Jamie Smart, Gary Northfield, Neill Cameron and Jess Bradley, and bonus talks by Matt Baxter and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell.
Contact Alison Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve a place for any of the workshops, or just come along and make some comics, meet the artists and hang out!!
Kids go Free!
The Man Who Won the War: The Life & Works of Capt. Bruce Bainsfather
- 25 September 2014 6:30-7:30pm
Major Tonie and Valmai Holt are the leading experts on Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather, and will discuss and explore the life and work of an artist whose talents spanned cartooning, writing, and even film making.
Bruce Bairnsfather’s cartoons are some of the most famous images of the First World War. His principal character – a phlegmatic, moustachio-ed soldier known as ‘Old Bill’, was immortalized in the unforgettable ‘The Better ‘Ole’ artwork, and reproduced on pottery, postcards, playing cards, and in books, plays, films in the UK and world-wide. And his work continues to inform and inspire cartoonists and comic artists working today.
The Holts became fascinated by the man while researching the First World War, and by talking with people – soldiers, civilians, mothers, wives – who remembered with clarity and emphasis how much Old Bill had meant to them, and how he was able to keep their spirits up during wartime. And it was for this incredible ability to boost morale through the medium of cartooning that he has been called ‘The Man Who Won the War’.
- Any age
£6.00 adult, £5.00 concession, £4.00 Friend. Please book through the Cartoon Museum's online shop.
Nearest tube: Holborn