The Cartoon Museum

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Not to be confused with Cartoon Art Museum.

Coordinates: 51°31′4″N 0°7′34″W / 51.51778°N 0.12611°W / 51.51778; -0.12611

Cartoon Museum
The Cartoon Museum
Established 2006; 11 years ago (2006)
Location Little Russell Street
London, WC1
United Kingdom
Type the art of comics and cartoons
Collection size 1,700 original cartoons and prints
Curator Anita O'Brien
Public transit access London Underground Holborn; Tottenham Court Road

The Cartoon Museum is a London museum for British cartoons, caricatures, comic strips and animation. 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 1,700 original cartoons and prints.

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."[1] It was opened on 23 February, 2006, by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

In its mission statement, the museum declares 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."[2]


The main exhibition area in 2014

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.[3]

The Cartoon Museum is run by the Cartoon Art Trust (Registered Charity 327 978).


The first-floor exhibition area

In addition to its Young Cartoonist of the Year Awards, each year the trustees of the Cartoon Art Trust give 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.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ News24 "Cartoon museum opens"
  2. ^ "About Us: Mission". Retrieved 2006-03-11. 
  3. ^ Kennedy, Maev (20 February 2006). "London cartoon museum opens". The Guardian. 

External links[edit]