Cartoon Museum

The London Pass London Pass Benefits: Access to the Cartoon Museum with The London Pass Normally £8.50 - Included with London Pass

Explore the world of comic art and cartoons at the Cartoon Museum. With a collection of over 6,000 original pieces and changing exhibitions throughout the year, the museum champions the place of cartoon and comic artwork in British society past, present and future.

 

Enjoy access to the Cartoon Museum with The London Pass®

- Pay nothing at the door
- See the permanent exhibitions, with pieces drawn from the museum’s collection of over 6,000 original artworks
- Explore the library of over 8,000 books and comics
- Take in one of the temporary exhibitions, showcasing particular artists, time periods or styles.



Skip to

- The Cartoon Museum history

- The Cartoon Museum highlights

- The Cartoon Museum facts

- Don’t miss

- Know before you go

- Getting in

- Make the most of your London Pass

- How to get there



Cartoon Museum history

The Cartoon Museum first opened in 2006, close to the British Museum. Those behind the museum had searched for two years looking for the perfect place for the new museum, which is the first such institution dedicated to cartoons and comic art in the whole of the UK. The Cartoon Museum aims to preserve and showcase the country’s cartoon and comic art heritage, raise awareness and encourage engagement with the art form, and support new work from Britain’s cartoonists and comic artists.

It was officially opened by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who has himself been the subject of many cartoons over the course of his life as a member of the Royal Family. He was greeted at the opening by a piece by political cartoonist Trog, which depicted his wife, The Queen pulling pints behind the bar of a pub. The piece, The Queen at the Queen Vic, is one of the museum’s most famous and a highlight of its collection.

The original site closed its doors in 2018, with the Cartoon Museum reopening at 63 Wells St, just north of Oxford Street, in 2019. The design of the reopened museum references the visual language, symbols and styles of British cartoons and comics, and was spearheaded by Sam Jacob Studio. The primary exhibition covers the history of cartoons and comic art from the 1750s to the present day. It is curated by The Guardian’s award-winning political cartoonist Steve Bell. The new museum occupies a larger site than the previous one, offering room for a dedicated learning studio and ‘destination’ shop which, along with its new immersive, artistically inspired design, show the Cartoon Museum

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Cartoon Museum highlights

  • Chart the history of British cartoons and comic art from the 1750s to the present day with a look around the permanent exhibition, curated by The Guardian’s Steve Bell.

  • Catch one of the temporary exhibitions. Previous exhibitions have featured the works of Ronald Searle, Ralph Steadman and Martin Rowson, and focused on publications such as Viz, The Beano and The Dandy.

  • Head to the wonderful ‘destination’ gift shop, with a whole range of gifts, cards, magazines and books to pore over.

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Cartoon Museum facts

  • The word ‘cartoon’ originally applied to any kind of drawing which was rendered on strong paper or card. It was then primarily used to refer to preliminary, full-size designs for finished artworks.

  • ‘Cartoon’ came to refer to humorous illustrations in magazines and newspapers, beginning with Punch magazine in 1843. The term, which had previously been used to refer to ‘serious’ art, was used ironically at first.

  • Japan is the largest comic book market on the planet, with around 2 billion manga book and magazine sales a year.

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Don't miss

The Main Exhibition Gallery

The Cartoon Museum’s permanent exhibition is curated by The Guardian’s award-winning political cartoonist Steve Bell. Charting the history and development of British cartoons and comic art from the 1750s to the present day, the exhibition draws from the Cartoon Museum’s collection of over 6,000 original pieces. Satirical greats such as James Gillray and William Hogarth are both present, alongside wartime cartoonist David Low and the creator of St Trinian’s School, Ronald Searle. Modern artists such as Posy Simmonds, Gerald Scarfe, Martin Rowson and Bell himself show how cartoons still help us to laugh at and understand the world around us.

For the latest temporary exhibitions and special events, check the attraction’s official website here.

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Know before you go

Please note that the Cartoon Museum is closed on Mondays. It is open 10.30 - 17.30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and until 20.00 on Thursdays. Sundays, the museum is open from 12.00 until 16.00.

Temporary exhibitions change fairly regularly and there are special events, such as artist talks and workshops, that crop up throughout the year. Be sure to check the Cartoon Museum website for details of these and how to book. 

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Getting in

Show your London Pass at the door for entry. The site is fully wheelchair accessible and fitting with a hearing loop.

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Make the most of your London Pass®

Save on entry costs to this fantastic institution, the first British museum dedicated to cartoons and comic art.

While you’re in the area, consider checking out Pollock’s Toy Museum, another specialist museum that showcases Britain’s art and design heritage. If you’ve been particularly inspired by the cartoonists satirising and commenting on Victorian Britain, consider a trip to the Charles Dickens Museum, the family home of perhaps the country’s premier Victorian writer. Access to both attractions is included with The London Pass®.

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How to get there

Underground

Oxford Cirus - Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines (7-minute walk from attraction)

Tottenham Court Road - Central and Northern lines (8-minute walk from attraction)

 

For more things to do in London, check out The London Pass® blog.

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Well worth the money! We bought a six-day pass, including an Underground pass, and used it every day we were in London. In fact, I calculated that we would have spent more on getting into places and using the Tube, than the pass cost. The pass book, listing where it could be used, was invaluable and pointed us to places, like Benjamin Franklin's home, we wouldn't have visited otherwise. I'll get a London pass again, next time I visit!
Sally Young from USA

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Getting to Cartoon Museum

Getting to Cartoon Museum

  • Cartoon Museum 63 Wells St. Fitzrovia, London W1A 3AE
  • Closest Underground Station Tottenham Court Road (Central, Northern), Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central and Victoria)

Opening Times

Monday Closed (except Bank Holiday Mondays)
Tuesday 10.30 - 17.30
Wednesday 10.30 - 17.30
Thursday 10.30 - 17.30
Friday 10.30 - 17.30
Saturday 10.30 - 17.30
Sunday 10.30 - 17.30

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