Hogarth's London

Hogarth GIN sml

22 October 2014 - 18 January 2015
During the night of 25/26 October 1764, William Hogarth (1697-1764), one of the great chroniclers of London, died at his home in Leicester Fields. For over thirty years, in his paintings, but even more so in his engravings, he captured the highs and especially the lows of life in London. Hogarth’s acute observations of the human condition were played out on the streets where he was born, lived, worked and died; they have placed an indelible stamp on the way we imagine Georgian London. Hogarth’s striking compositions and eye for the telling detail capture the vitality and suffering of the lower orders and the pretensions of the aspiring middle classes. Pugnacious and insecure, touchy yet convivial, ambitious and public spirited, William Hogarth was a complex and contradictory individual. The son of a poverty-stricken schoolteacher imprisoned for debt, he rose to become Serjeant Painter to the King, but was never fully accepted by the London art establishment. 
This exhibition of fifty of the artist’s best-known London satirical prints marks the 250th anniversary of his death. Hogarth’s cautionary tales of eighteenth-century London ?  ‘modern moral subjects’ as he called them – include A Harlot’s Progress, A Rake’s Progress, The Four Times of Day, Industry and Idleness and, of course, Gin Lane and Beer Street. His dynamic narratives, full of incident and dense with topical references, tell stories of contemporary London types who would have been immediately recognisable to audiences of the time. 
In the two hundred and fifty years since he died, Hogarth’s commentaries on London have inspired numerous artists to look at life in London in their own time. Though neither a cartoonist nor strictly a caricaturist, his satires remain a touchstone for satirists from David Low and Ralph Steadman to Steve Bell and Martin Rowson. This exhibition invites the public to look more closely at the original pictures and discover a London which is sometimes horrifying, but always fascinating. 
This exhibition is supported by The William Hogarth Trust.
For Hogarth related events, please follow this link.
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1914 Day By Day Cartoons



Day by Day Cartoons

(You can see these images in our online gallery.)
26 June - 19 October 2014
Over six weeks, twelve cartoonists and graphic artists will respond to the events that happened across the world as the world was heading to war one hundred years ago. You will be able to follow their illustrated commentary on the issues and incidents of the day as relations between the great powers deteriorated into war, via the BBC Radio 4 and 14-18 NOW websites.
However, if you would like to see the artworks up-close and before they are released onto the Radio 4 website, please visit the Cartoon Museum where all the artworks will be displayed from the 26th June.
Artists include Steve Bell (Guardian), Peter Brookes (The Times), Steven Camley (Glasgow Herald), Kate Charlesworth (The Cartoon History of Time), Achim Greser & Heribert Lenz (Frankfurter Allegemeine), John McCrea & Ferg Handley (Marvel/Lucasfilm & Marvel/Commando), Jon McNaught (Dockwood), Woodrow Phoenix (Rumble Strip), Zoom Rockman (The Zoom!), Posy Simmonds (Tamara Drew), Ralph Steadman (New Statesman), and Lalit Kumar Sharma & Alan Cowsill (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Marvel).
You can see these images in our online gallery.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported
by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Joint HLF  ACE Lottery logo BLACK  FWW Centenary  Led By IWM Black



One of Our Minor Wars 'Well, if you knows of a better 'ole, go to it.' Bruce Bairnsfather, Bystander, 24 November 1915



Heroes and Villains

An exhibition of art depicting real life, the cartoon and comic world that highlights those we love and those we love to hate. Featuring political cartoons, cartoon and comic strips, and caricatures, including some selected by celebrities and members of the public.  


Never Again! World War I in Cartoon and Comic Art




11 Jun - 19 Oct 2014

Late opening: 17 Oct 2014, until 20.00.

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.


Alfred Leete’s famous recruiting cover for London Opinion featuring Lord Kitchener was never an official poster but remains one of the abiding images of the Great War and inspired numerous other designs. For many Bruce Bairnsfather’s grumbling but steadfast soldier ‘Old Bill’ became the face of the long-suffering Tommy in the trenches. Criticised in parliament as ‘vulgar caricatures of our heroes’, Bairnsfather’s down-to-earth drawings were loved by the men at the front. They were reproduced on plates and cards and inspired stage shows and films. The exhibition includes Bairnsfather’s ‘Well, if you knows of a better ’ole, go to it’, widely regarded as the most famous cartoon of the war. Postcards of Bert Thomas’s ‘’Arf a ‘Mo’ Kaiser’, showing a cheeky Tommy pausing to light his cigarette, raised £200,000 for the soldiers’ tobacco fund. The cartoons by the Dutch artist Louis Raemaekers were exhibited three times in London, reproduced around the world and widely credited with helping persuade the Americans to enter the war.


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.


Many cartoons feature national symbols such as John Bull, the Russian Bear and the French Cockerel. Leaders such as Kitchener and the Kaiser who often appeared with his son in Haselden’s ‘Big and Little Willie’ ? were also popular subjects. There are ‘hate cartoons’ by Edmund J. Sullivan which demonise the Germans, but others by Heath Robinson and Haselden that acknowledge the humanity shared by both sides. The impact of modern warfare, air raids and women’s war work all appear as subjects, as do conscription and conscientious objectors.


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.


Artists in the exhibition include H. M. Bateman, Bruce Bairnsfather, Martin Brown, Oscar Cesare, Will Dyson, George Halkett, W.K. Haselden, William Heath Robinson, David Low, Donald McGill, Bernard Partridge, E.T. Reed, Edmund J. Sullivan, Ralph Steadman, Douglas Tempest, F. H. Townsend, Bert Thomas and Tom Webster.


The exhibition is supported by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) and the University of Lincoln.