Satire and silliness in Three Centuries of Cartoon Art at Nunnington Hall in Yorkshire

By Richard Booth | 03 May 2011
a cartoon caricature of Labour leader Ed Milliband in the style of the character Wallis from Wallis and Gromit
Peter Brookes illustrated in The Times (January 7 2011)© Peter Brooke / The Times
Exhibition: Three Centuries of Cartoon Art, Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire, until June 5 2012

A celebration of satire and silliness, this collection of cartoons from the Chris Beetles Gallery has been brought to Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley, to honour Yorkshire as the home of British comedy.

Beetles, the world’s leading cartoon dealer, is displaying his stock of work from celebrated artist and joke writers across the last three centuries, showcasing the great British lineage of what is sometimes considered a disposable art form.

Showing the progression of the drawings from the 19th century to the present day, the show features more than 100 framed cartoons, including sketches from the great Punch artist of the 19th century, John Leech, who invented the word "cartoon" and whose work regularly appeared in the satirical magazine.

A collection of drawings from the 20th century are also on display, starring artists such as Charles Keene, George Du Maurier and Winnie the Pooh illustrator EH Shephard.

Current artists Peter Brookes (The Times), Ed McLachlan (Private Eye), Matt (Daily Telegraph) and Mac (Daily Mail) give their takes on wars, political turmoil and the English class system, joined by Bristow's Frank Dickens - arguably the greatest living gag artist.

A display of humourous illustrations also appear, with contributions from Heath Robinson, Rowland Emett and Norman Thelwell.

  • Open 11am-5pm (except Monday). Admission £3.15-£7 (family ticket £15.90-£17.50).
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