Reopened 1 July 2019
|Location||63 Wells St|
|Type||the art of comics and cartoons|
|Collection size||4,000 plus original cartoons and prints|
|Public transit access||Oxford Circus|
The Cartoon Museum is a London museum for British cartoons, caricatures, comic strips and animation, owned and operated by the Cartoon Art Trust (Registered Charity 327 978). It has a library of over 5,000 books and 4,000 comics relating to the subject. The museum issues catalogues and features a changing display of over 250 exhibits from its collection of over 4,000 original cartoons and prints. The museum states that it is "dedicated to preserving the best of British cartoons, caricatures, comics and animation, and to establishing a museum with a gallery, archives and innovative exhibitions to make the creativity of cartoon art past and present, accessible to all for the purposes of education, research and enjoyment.".
The Cartoon Museum was opened on 23 February, 2006, by The Duke of Edinburgh at its original location in Little Russell St in Central London. Director/Curator Anita O'Brien noted, "There has never been a cartoon museum [in Britain]... In spite of the very strong historical tradition here, there has always been a very strong ambivalence towards comic art."
The Cartoon Museum closed its doors at Little Russell St in late 2018, and reopened at 63 Wells St, north of Oxford St, on 1 July 2019.
Previous exhibitions have included Ronald Searle, Pont, Fougasse, Rowland Emett, The Beano and The Dandy, Mike Williams, Mel Calman, cartoons from private London clubs, Viz, Alice in Sunderland (Bryan Talbot), Robert Dighton, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher and Spitting Image.
Exhibitions feature catalogues, such as Ronald Searle: Graphic Master, which includes essays on Searle's work. Leading cartoonists and filmmakers have produced artworks in homage to Searle and written pieces, including Steve Bell, Roger Law, Mike Leigh, Uli Meyer, Arnold Roth, Martin Rowson, Gerald Scarfe, Posy Simmonds and Ralph Steadman.
The museum runs a learning programme for primary and secondary schools in a range of subjects, including art, media, history, English and animation. With workshops for children during half-term and holidays, it also features adult courses in cartooning and graphic novels.
Cartoon Art Trust Awards
Every year the trustees of the Cartoon Art Trust host the Cartoon Art Trust Awards, giving an award to the Young Cartoonist of the Year, and also giving a Lifetime Achievement Award to an artist who has made a significant contribution to British cartooning. Past winners have included Ronald Searle, David Levine, Trog, Fluck and Law, Norman Thelwell, Frank Dickens, David Langdon, Gerald Scarfe, Leo Baxendale and Bill Tidy.
They also give the Pont Award to a cartoonist whose drawings reflect "The British Character". Past winners include Norman Thelwell, MAC, Michael Heath, Sue McCartney-Snape and Tony Husband.
- The museum is located at 63 Wells Street.
- Nearest London Underground stations:
- "About Us: Mission". Retrieved 11 March 2006.
- News24 "Cartoon museum opens"
- correspondent, Mark Brown Arts (1 July 2019). "London's Cartoon Museum reopens with a fresh look at comic art". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- Kennedy, Maev (20 February 2006). "London cartoon museum opens". The Guardian.