The Cartoon Museum covers British cartoons, caricatures, comic strips and animation. The museum has a library of over 5000 books and 4000 comics relating to the subject, it issues catalogues and features a changing display of over 250 items from its collection of over 1700 original cartoons and prints.
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.
Previous exhibitions at the museum have included works by Ronald Searle, Pont, Fougasse, Rowland Emett, Beano and Dandy, cartoons from private London clubs, and those of Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher. Exhibitions feature catalogues, such as “Ronald Searle: Graphic Master”, which includes essays on Searle’s work.
The museum runs a learning programme for primary and secondary schools in a range of subjects, including art, media, history, English and animation. Besides workshops for children during half-term and holidays, it also features adult courses in cartooning and graphic novels, prepared in collaboration with London’s Birkbeck College.
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. They also give the Pont Award to a cartoonist whose drawings reflect “The British Character”.