Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Cartoon Museum

On my free time, I decided to visit a fun, but different museum. Behind the British Museum, tucked in a side street is the Cartoon Museum. The Cartoon Museum is fairly new, since 2006. It's a non-profit, non-funded group ran out of a small, leased two-story building. The purpose of the museum is to highlight British comics, cartoons, and caricatures and make it accesible for people to research and enjoy.

What's great about the Cartoon Museum is that it is also a learning center. Throughout the summer, they have several different workshops for kids ages 8 through 18 on how to draw different types of cartoons. In the museum upstairs is a studio where everybody is welcomed to draw a comic. Paper, pencials, and drawing books are provided to help. In the sitting areas are copies of old and new comics that people can read. There is also two tv projectors showing different British cartoons.

Now, this Cartoon Museum is for British comics. Anybody that's not British might not of heard of there comics before. The only one I knew was Dennis the Menace. I never knew that was a British comic, since I always saw it on American TV. Also, the comics ranged from kids comics, graphic novels, and old political cartoon from the 1800s.

They also have a temporary changing exhibit and right now they are highlighting "Toy Tales"-highlights from favorite children's animation. Again, most of the shows are ones I've never heard of. But they had such a cute show back in the '70s called Bagpuss. He was a big pink and white stripe cat that would come to life and tell stories. The cat puppet they had was so old and cute! They had one for sale in the gift shop. I might still go buy it. Other shows, such as Bob the Builder, were also highlighted. Again, I didn't know that was a British cartoon. I think they dub over the voices for American ones.

The museum does have a library, but its only open on wednesdays or by appoinment. They have over 5,000 comics, cartoons, and more and 2,000 more that need to be catalouged. Unlike other libraries I've visited, the books were catalouged in the American Library of Congress classification system. I found that odd, but I was told that was a decision made because it was easier to sort the art books. The library is just for reference and nothing can be checked out. I didn't understand much about the cartoons I was looking at, but it was still fun and educational. It was a nice change from the huge museums we've been visiting.

To learn more about the Cartoon Museum, please visit

Photograph provided by the blogger.

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