Ronald Searle: Satirist | Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and MuseumBilly Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

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Ronald Searle: Satirist

An exhibition at the Cartoon Library & Museum’s Reading Room Gallery
January 15-March 31, 2009

Ronald Searle:  Satirist showcases examples of this great British cartoonist’s work at the height of his career as a graphic reporter during the 1950s and 1960s.  Born March 3, 1920 to a working class family in Cambridge, Searle quit art school to join the Territorial Army as an Architectural Draughtsman in 1939.  He was shipped to Singapore in October 1941, and was captured by the Japanese a month after his arrival.  He spent the remainder of World War II in a prisoner of war camp.  Searle began cartooning for Punch in 1946 and was so successful there that he became a member of Mr. Punch’s Table, a very high honor, only a decade later.  During this time, Searle also worked frequently for American magazines such as Holiday and Life.  In 1960 he was the first non-American artist to receive the National Cartoonists Society ‘s Reuben Award, its highest honor.

In the early 1960s Searle moved to France and began cartooning less and painting more.  He created several limited edition prints over the last forty years.  Searle collaborated on numerous book projects, as documented by the eighty-four titles associated with him that are held in this library.

The Cartoon Library and Museum was fortunate to purchase a collection of almost fifty pieces by Searle in 1995.  Most of the works in this exhibition are selected from this purchase.

About the Cartoon Library and Museum:  The Cartoon Library and Museum’s primary mission is to develop a comprehensive research collecton of materials documenting American printed cartoon art (editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and magazine cartoons) and to provide access to these collections.  The library is open Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm.   See for further information.

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