Cartooning Museums: Cartoon Exhibits 2007/2008

November 16, 2007

    What's up in those great cartoon museums around the world? Lots! From historical glimpses of dearly-departed cartoonists to cartoons created during World War Two, and to newer creators that are making a splash in the art world, cartoons are becoming a steady museum feature.  Here is just a glance at the great art and humour. If you can't travel to any of the exhibits, some museums have virtual exhibits and lots of satisfying information.

   World War Two was a long and devastating war, but cartoonists can find something to produce a giggle or provoke thought no matter what is going on. The McCord Museum of Canadian History is holding an exhibit of cartoons from that era. Scroll through each of the 34 cartoons and find historical information, fascinating details about when and where the cartoon was published, and notes of events inspired the piece. The McCord Museum also has a collection of Aislin (Terry Mosher) cartoons. The virtual exhibit is a great insight into the cartoonists' thoughts about Canada and the War.

The McCord Museum of Canadian History
690 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec. H3A 1E9

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   The London, England-based Cartoon Museum is also exhibiting cartoons of historical flavour. From January 23, 2008 to April 20, 2008, the work of Robert Dighton is on display. Mr. Dighton, the Museum notes, was an actor, a caricaturist of celebrities, and a thief. He must have been an interesting fellow! Also on display are beautiful vintage cartoons from centuries long gone, and soon, a selection of modern work by Steve Bell and Gerald Scarfe.

The Cartoon Museum
35 Little Russell Street
London, England WC1A 2HH

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     Hurray for MOCCA! Their latest exhibit is Infinite Canvas: The importance of Webcomics.
Examining the art of a large number of web cartoonists, "the museum delves into the many aspects the unique format and design of webcomics, their appeal to niche audiences, and the transitions between web and print comics". The knowledgeable exhibit curator is Jennifer Babcock, creator of the syndicated webcomic, C'est la Vie. Infinite Canvas: The Importance of Webcomics exhibit runs until January 14, 2008. View information about past exhibits at their site, too.

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
504 Broadway, Suite 401
New York City, New York   10012  
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    The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, California is exhibiting the work of Edward Gorey until January 20, 2008. A deeply creative man, Gorey's work included illustrations in prominent magazines, illustrations in books for authors such as Virginia Woolf, John Updike and many more. The PBS Mystery! series features his animation, and he also produced set designs and costumes for Broadway theatre productions.

    The Cartoon Art Museum is also displaying "The Art and Flair of Mary Blair" until March 18, 2008, "Rutu Modan:  Exit Wounds" by graphic novel artist and well-known Israeli cartoonist Rutu Modan, and Cartoonist-in-Residence, Michael Capozzola, creator of Cheap City.

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     Unfortunately for the National Cartoon Museum, the museum is without a home. Originally the International Cartoon Museum in Boca Raton, Florida, the museum moved to New York with great hopes. But, finances got in the way so moving into new digs at the Empire State Building in New York City was not feasible. Keep watching their site for a new home some time in the future.
No one knows when, though. I hope they can pull through this tough time. Cartoon museums are an essential part of sharing the history and art of cartooning.

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© Susanna McLeod 2007