Review: 50 Years Of Political Cartoons
With doodling and colouring books for adults currently in vogue, it is only a matter of time before the shrinking markets for cartoonists in this country reverse their trend. Anyone who thinks that cartooning is a dying artform need only visit the Political Cartoon Gallery and Cafe in Putney to see its regular exhibitions.
The collection spans the entire history of British cartooning from James Gilroy to present day newspaper regulars such as Steve Bell, Martin Rowson and Peter Brookes.
The current exhibition, On The Right Lines, celebrates 50 years of cartoons in the Daily Telegraph, which recruited its first graphic satirist in the shape of Nicholas Garland in March 1961. Other Telegraph cartoonists featured include pocket cartoonist Matt Pritchard, Richard Cole, Patrick Blower, Christian Adams and Bob Moran.
Owner of the gallery and cartoon historian, Dr Timothy Benson, said it is important to continue the tradition of ‘visual journalism’ that political cartooning has become as it is an integral part of newspapers.
If you were to ask a cartoonist what the purpose of cartooning is you would get a different answer each time. And many cartoonists, like Richard Cole, are accomplished artists in other fields such as painting and sculpture.
The exhibition demonstrates the breadth of styles and vision over the last half century with some cartoonists, like Bob Moran, having had a career across the political spectrum from The Morning Star, via the Guardian to the Daily Telegraph. A good cartoonist should be just such an all-round observer without betraying any hardline partisanship.
The Political Cartoon Gallery and Cafe is a bright and airy venue across two floors, and the cartoons are for sale.
The Political Cartoon Gallery and Cafe, 16 Lower Richmond Road, London SW15 1JP.
Last Updated 19 March 2016