Having opened on the 1st February 2012, there wasn’t that much of a buzz about the Her Maj: 60 Years of Unofficial Portraits of the Queen exhibition at The Cartoon Museum in the build up to the unveiling. Fortunately for us, and thanks to an interview on BBC Radio 4, we heard about it and went over to take a look.
Crammed with a huge variety of cartoons of Queen Elizabeth II throughout the 60 years of her reign, and to celebrate her diamond jubilee later this year, the Her Maj exhibition was literally entrancing.
Though the museum itself isn’t one of London’s biggest, and the exhibition itself may not exactly look that big on first inspection, when we started to follow the collection of cartoons around the room we began to get a feel for the huge scope of it. Each addition is lovingly accompanied with a little write-up about the history of the time of the cartoon, who the artist was and the publication it featured in, and just from these small fragments of information the last 60 years of British and global history come to life in stunning detail.
In addition to the perfect delivery of the exhibition as a summary of the Queen’s reign as told in cartoons, theexhibition was also a brilliant introduction to some of the greatest cartoonists of the 20th Century. As well as the prolifically active Trog, who’s work acts as a significant contribution to the exhibition, there are also a couple of cartoons by the legendary Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas cartoonist, Ralph Steadman, which were a delight to see.
The Her Maj: 60 Years of Unofficial Portraits of the Queen exhibition at The Cartoon Museum was a loving recreation of all that’s great and good about cartoons and caricature as well as a cool look back on the history of the royal family during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
Entrance to the museum cost £5.50 for adults with £4 concessions, £3 for students with an NUS and free to Under-18s, Art Fund Members and Friends of the Cartoon Museum. The exhibition ran through until the 8th April 2012.
There were also a couple of events as part of the exhibition:
Persistent Reign: The British Royal Family in Cartoons 1952-2012
15th March 2012 6:30 – 7:30pm
Dr Nicholas Hiley, Director of the British Cartoon Archive, looked at how the image of the Royal Family, and the Queen in particular, evolved since the middle of the 20th century. £4.50, £3.50, £3
Lèse Majesté: An Unofficial History of the British Monarchy
29th March 2012 6.30 – 7.30 pm
Curator Anita O’Brien looked at the changing fortunes of the British Royal family in caricature from George III to Prince William and his new bride. £4.50, £3.50, £3
Her Maj exhibition review: 4.4/5