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.

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Cartoon Museum

What you'll do

Enjoy access to the Cartoon Museum with The London Pass®

  • Pay nothing upon entry, simply present your pass
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Know before you go

Getting in

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

For more information visit the Cartoon Museum website.

Where you'll be

Operating hours

Tuesday-Saturday: 10:30AM - 5:30PM
Sunday: 12PM - 4PM

The museum is also open until 8PM on the last Thursday of every month.

Closings & holidays


25 December 2024 to 2 Jan 2025

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Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated credits packages are eligible for a refund within 90 days of your purchase date.

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