Story Book of Cartoon Museums / successes /ECC 2012

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Story Book of Cartoon Museums / successes  /ECC 2012


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Preface ...................................................................................................................... 3
I’ll bring the cake ....................................................................................................... 5
With Atila and after Atila ............................................................................................. 6
Azerbaijan Cartoon ..................................................................................................... 8
Cartoon Program for TV ............................................................................................. 10
An Educational Success Story - one of many ................................................................ 12
Stories about getting connected: the Gabrovo Biennal .................................................. 13
Hi Smiley Thought .................................................................................................... 16
The International Forum of Visual Humour Karikaturum – the brand of Surgut City ........... 18
The Story of Tabriz Cartoon Museum .......................................................................... 21
Museum of Cartoon Art and Caricature in Warsaw ........................................................ 22
Connecting through cartoons in Serbia ........................................................................ 24
The Egyptian Caricature Museum ................................................................................ 27
Once Upon a Toon… .................................................................................................. 30
Humour as lever to the Museum work… ....................................................................... 34
Cartoons and local history ......................................................................................... 35
Exhibition Instant Kama, drawings and movies of Kamagurka ........................................ 37 

Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Preface The 4th
Cartoon Museum Conference is all about ‘Connecting through Cartoons’.
We did ask the different museums to share their personal success stories about the theme
‘connecting through cartoons’. What were moments, in the history of their cartoon museum,
they felt the museum made a difference? Moments they felt there was a real connection with
the public or with cartoonists, or with the museum team, etc.
All museums sent us stories about moments that were significant, meaningful, mutually
empowering or particularly effective in terms of achieved results. Results that really made
them proud.
Each story is very different, but we are sure that they all can be very inspiring to all of us
and that it can help to bring some more ‘connectivity’ in our cartoon museums and in our
collaboration with each other.
Enjoy reading it!
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
I’ll bring the cake If you had already the occasion to read about the European Cartoon Center or you did hear
a presentation about it, you will know that one of the aims of the ECC is not to be a dull
museum but to be an active center, a home for cartoonists and cartoon lovers. The ECC
wants to be an open organization where people really feel at home. This is only possible
through the people who work in the ECC. The ECC is conducted by a team of at about 15
people, all volunteers, from different ages, some of them where there from the beginning (in
1979) of the Euro-Kartoenale, others came later. Every team member is giving the best he
or she can, using his or her own talent, spending the time that is available at that moment.
It seems that working on a voluntary basis is a recipe for a successful connection with
others. The ECC-team is there because they like to be there, to have fun, to be among
friends,  to  work  hard  and  to  celebrate  successes,  to  have  some  amazing  international
contacts, to professionalize themselves … simply because they share a passion and a dream
for the ECC. That results in a warm authentic welcome and a real interest in the cartoonists
and cartoon lovers we meet. And so it often leads to great friendships.
If your name is Zlatkovsky, Gatto, Mordillo … or you are a young starting local cartoonist, we
really treat you all the same way. We like to prepare informal lunches and dinners for you,
because these occasions, that really help to connect which each other, are often more fun
than expensive restaurants. We take you on trips in our beautiful country (Ghent, Brussels,
Bruges, Ypres, …), and try to make you feel at home.
The cartoonist Vangelis Pavlidis wrote on his blog, after his visit to the ECC:
…  But, more remarkable is the contribution of quite a  number of volunteers  –  Saskia, Fernand, Dominique, Paul and
others whose names I do not remember but whose happy faces and hospitality I will never forget. They are men and
women of every age and occupation that have embraced this effort, cartoonists themselves some of them and several
even from nearby towns. They all work on a voluntary basis and they gain nothing more than the satisfaction of
contributing to this project.
When we contacted a historical research organization to do some research for us about the
history of Belgian cartoons, we got this prompt reply: … it would be an honor to work with the ECC that
is known as a very warm organization.
And when Pol Leurs came to the opening ceremony of the exhibition of Ross Thomson, we
did ask him to stay for the barbeque the next day. We got a mail back from his wife Gaby
who said: ‘I’ll bring the cake!’. She made a delicious red wine cake for dessert (a family
recipe), because the ECC-team is as family.
So you see that connecting through cartoons is all about connecting people and hearts. We
really hope you can experience this feeling during your stay in Kruishoutem, that you will
feel at home and that you become part of the big ECC-family.
Connect through sharing passion and dream, to open your heart
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
With Atila and after Atila When I got married to Atila Ozer in 1975, I did not know anything about cartoons. We were
both working. At the evening, he was conducting research on cartoons, reading books and
drawing and drawing.  I was surprised and a little bit jealous to see his passion for cartoons.
University, academic research, classes, exams and homework were taking all of his time. In
time, I also started to get interested in cartoons and I got to know some of the cartoonists. I
decided to help him during my free time after school. I became the secretary: copying
paperwork, wrapping and mailing the cartoons for competitions. During all those years we
spent t ogether, w ere f illed  with cartoons and n umerous f riends.  We v isited m useums,
attended cartoon meetings, festivals and symposiums. I was also tied to cartoons just like
him. We were buying the newly released books and were immediately examining them. He
was always thinking, planning things he could do for cartoon art and putting them in order.
In 1983 he established the first Cartoon Student Club in Turkish Universities.
In 1984 for the first time in Turkish Universities he started to teach the Cartoon Class and
he continued teaching this class till his death without any interruption.
In  2001  he  became  a  professor.  We  had  a  better  and  more  comfortable  working
In 2002 he established the Cartoon Art Research Center, which was also first in his kind in
Turkish Universities. In the meantime, he also organized two international cartoon contests
as a first step towards establishing the cartoon museum that he was planning to open.
In 2004 he opened the Eskisehir Cartoon Museum as a part of the Cartoon Art Research
Center. The museum was like Atila’s child. During the restorations, he was present at the
construction site of the building, when he didn’t have classes. Since it took a while for the
staff of the museum to start working, he opened and closed the museum himself and we did
the cleaning together. He put everything in the museum very carefully and paid attention to
every  detail.  He  carried  lots of  b ooks, j ournals, a nd documents f rom  our  house t o  the
museum. His friends and cartoonists welcomed his request warmly and donated several
books t o t he m useum. T his w as a n  example  of i ncredible t rust  between f riends a nd
colleagues. Approximately 1000 cartoons and 1200 books were collected in a very short
time.  New st aff d id  not h ave an y k nowledge  about cartoon a rt.  Whenever A tila saw a 
cartoon misplaced or fell on the floor, he used to get really upset. That’s why we started to
build up the archive on our own. I went to the university’s library to learn how to create an
archive. Atila designed an emblem for the museum. At the end of the first year we finished
archiving  the c artoons  and  recording  the  books  that  were d onated  to  the  museum. M y
volunteer efforts outside of the working hours were not very welcome for the universities
community. We even heard unpleasant complaints about my volunteer efforts. We did not
know that working without expecting anything was a mistake, and we were both confused
and very sad. However, none of these obstacles have diminished our passion for cartoons.
Atila was a very calm, patient and faithful person. He never forgot the people who were
dedicated to cartoon art, he organized special events for them.  In the meantime everything
was settled in the museum and the museum started to run smoothly. Atila was planning a
new project.
In 2009, in order to establish a Cartoon Museums Union, he organized the First International
Cartoon Museum Directors’ Meeting in Eskisehir and designed a logo for the meeting. This
was his fifth big project. He knew that the participation to this meeting would increase every
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
year. Unfortunately, he couldn’t participate to any of the following meetings of this union he
established. He passed away on April 23rd
, 2011.  A life which was full of cartoons between
1973 and has ended in 2011.
After his death, over two and a half months, I went to the museum as a volunteer just to
help people there and answer any questions they might have. However, there were again
complaints about my presence there. Fortunately, there were nice developments outside the
museum. The t hird C artoon Museum D irectors’ M eeting in Z emun, Serbia, organized a n
International Atila Ozer Cartoon Portraits Exhibition and a book was published by the Mayor
of Eskisehir Tepebasi Municipality Dr. Ahmet Atac. Remembering Atila Ozer Exhibition of
cartoonist Beytullah Heper, a cartoon contest among the high school students organized by
Eskisehir A rt A ssociation a nd myself, a nd  with  environment c artoons  contest a mong
students with Atila Ozer special award.
I w atched a ll t hese  developments.  I c ould n ot l eave 3 6-37 y ears  of  my  life s pent
passionately on cartoons behind me. What could I do? I decided to redesign our house in
which we lived with our cats as “Prof. Atila Ozer Cartoon House.” On April 23rd
2012, one
year after Atila’s death, we got together with cartoonists, journalists and art lovers and
announced the opening of the house. My niece, Deniz Cil who is in a PhD program in the
United States carried on the correspondence. Everyone who knows us said that this was a
very good idea and seeing Atila’s books, cartoons, drawings, we did not know that he had
produced this much work. I could not hang all the cartoons because we did not have enough
space. This is a work of love and passion. I could not let his work stay in cabinets. Visitors
are  coming and sitting in  the h ouse j ust  like  guests, t hey  rest  and  I  offer  them  some
refreshments. They look at the cartoons on the walls. But there is a lot of work to do. I will
organize the articles written about him, interviews, letters, poster and emblem designs. I
need more time to organize all of these.
What is important for me is to make people leave the Atila Ozer House with good and warm
Vicdan Bulunmaz Ozer
Connect through never ending love, passion and courage
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Azerbaijan Cartoon
The root of the Cartoon History of Azerbaijan takes its place in very old times - XVI-XVII
centuries. One would come across with the initial specimens of this art just in Azerbaijan
miniatures of the Middle Ages. The formation of the cartoon as an independent genre in
Azerbaijan coincides with the end of XIX and the beginning of the XXth century. Today with
a sense  of  pride  I  can  say  that  “Molla  Nasreddin”  being  the  first  and  the  only  satiric
magazine known in the whole Muslim East, was published in 1906 only in Azerbaijan in the
native Azerbaijani language. It is no mere chance that more than 20 satirical magazines and
newspapers were published in 1906-1920 only in Baku city. This is considered to be a very
big indicator.
The Azerbaijan cartoon having traditions in the democratic European and Russian cartoon
school was a bridge between the West and the East. The Azerbaijan cartoon meeting has the
highest requirements of that period and using traditions of the European cartoon school has
taken the responsibility of passing this kind of art to neighbouring countries. The scientists
and researchers of the world have got enough important and significant thoughts about the
role of the Azerbaijan comic graphics, comic press and especially  t he magazine “Molla
Nasreddin” in formation and further discovery of the comic press of peoples of Iran, the
Middle East, the Crimea, Tataristan, the Caucasus and the peoples living along the Volga.
The magazine “Molla Nasreddin” which brought the cartoon school of Europe to the East
again restored its publication in Baku after the collapse of Czar Russia and establishing
Soviet power in Azerbaijan. From 1922 to 1931 more than 300 issues of it came out. During
these years the chief artist of the magazine was Azim Azimzadeh. This well-known person
and great cartoon master almost from the first issue of the magazine – from 1906 to 1931 –
closely cooperated with “Molla Nasreddin”.
The house where Azim Azimzadeh was born, grew up, lived and created, turned into the
museum after h is d eath.  The  memorial  house  set  up  to  perpetuate  this  great  artist’s
memory was formed according to the order of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan Republic
in 1968.
Today t he a rtist’s 2 000 exhibits a re p reserved i n t he fund of t he  memorial h ouse. The
artists’ works are constantly demonstrated in the museum which is situated in an area of
200 m² and consists of 6 rooms. At the same time, exhibitions of Azerbaijan cartoonists, the
followers of Azimzadeh school, are often  organized in the museum. Every year about 3000
people visit the museum. Majority of them are worshipers of Azimzadeh’s creativity, the
guests of our country, young artists and students.
On the initiative of Ministry of Azerbaijan Culture and Tourism, Baku Culture Department,
the U nion of  A zerbaijan A rtists, t he U nion of  A zerbaijan C artoonists e xhibitions,
arrangements, r ound-table me etings, r eadings a re  constantly  organized. A lso the
presentations of newly published books, catalogues and albums are held in the museum. 
As you know, in 1910 we announced the International Cartoon Contest “Molla Nasreddin –
Azerbaijan” o n t he  occasion o f A .Azimzadeh’s 1 30th an niversary an d i t was  h eld
successfully. We published a book of 180 pages that would be able to shed a light on
A.Azimzadeh’s creativity and we sent it to more than 300 artists and participants of the
Contest as a present. The opening ceremony of Azim Azimzadeh’s monument was held in
the ce nter o f B aku i n o ne o f t he m ost b eautiful p arks o n D ecember, 2 012. A ll t his  is
considered to be our respect and esteem to Azimzadeh’s spirit.
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
The Minister of Azerbaijan Culture and Tourism Mr.Abulfaz Qarayev has recently signed an
order in connection with the fundamental repairing of Azim Azimzadeh memorial house.
Surely, as a result of attention given and care taken by the state, the museum will be
restored and its material and technical basis will be provided with new modern equipment.
And this will give a push to the increasing amount of activities and opportunities of the
Surely, these and these kind of examples are striking examples of the state’s care for its
cartoonists, his productive activity and creativity and the love of the people. I consider that
today t here i s A zim A zimzadeh’s sh are i n e ach su ccess, v ictory  and a chievement o f
Azerbaijani cartoonist.
Today the independent activity of the Cartoonists Union in Azerbaijan, the creation of “The
Cartoon” s ection i n A zerbaijan A rtists’ U nion, t he t eaching of  t he s ubject “ The C artoon
History” at Azerbaijan State Culture and Art University, various satirical magazines published
in the Republic and the recent foundation of Azerbaijan Cartoon Centre, certainly, serve to
get the cartoon genre known and to promote it.
It is just the cartoon which makes us closer to each other, links our fates and the endless
love and affection towards the cartoon. As a result of this cooperation and friendship the
cartoon g ets m ore k nown a nd  better  developped. T he c hiefs o f  cartoon m useums a re
responsible for accelerating this process and promoting the cartoon more widely.
Surely, there are problems here too, as it is in other fields. We would like the material and
technical basis of the cartoon museums, cartoon houses and centres to be much stronger.
We w ish to increase  the a ttention  of  the  state to t his f ield, t he ri se of  t he n umber  of
sponsors giving money for realization of new projects. But I am sure that if there is none of
them, we will be faithful to our work and speciality and serve the cartoon passionately. I
believe that the endless love and affection towards the cartoon is the only factor which gives
us strengh and motivation.
I think that each of us can cope with all problems in this work which we love most of all and
will have enough strength to solve these problems coming across our path. This strength is
considered to be in our unity and love for the cartoon.
The President of Azerbaijan Cartoonists’ Union,
The Representative of Azim Azimzadeh Memorial House
Bayram Hajızadeh
Connect through history, bridges and development
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Cartoon Program for TV
January, 2012 (Eskişehir)
Early d ays a fter b eing t he M anager of  A nadolu U niversity, M useum of  C artoon A rt i n
Eskişehir… When the responsibility of the duty combines with many projects and ideas for
activities in my mind, they form a sip of worry and a piece of excitement for me. Lots of
things to do, however there must be a priority in order to realize the things I have planned.
Due to this and after a brainstorming with University Rectorate, we finally decided that the
first project should be “a T.V. program for cartoon lectures”.
This project aims to create a “cartoon lecture program” which shall be broadcasted during
one season in TRT Okul (a channel that had been formed by Turkish Radio and Television
Corporation (TRT) and Anadolu University) in order to take an interest in cartoon art and to
teach it.
January, 2012 (Eskişehir, a few days later)
After a few troublesome days when I’m about to welcome the new day, my cell phone starts
to  ring.  I  already  realize  that  the  project  I  intend  to  form  is  not  the  hardest te st t o
accomplish in the world. But it is my first test as a manager so it must be done in a
successful manner. As I start to think how this program could take an interest on cartoon art
and could provide a starting point in order to raise many cartoonists’ attention, I become
more convinced that the choice of the cartoonist for the program is really important
Back to the phone, I was surprised when I saw the number on the screen. Someone is
calling from abroad. When I answered the phone with a bit of curiosity I heard the friendly
and kind voice that says “This is Rahim Baggal Asghari, from Tabriz”.
September, 2009 (Eskişehir)
The first time I met with Mr. Rahim was through the first Cartoon Museum Conference
performed in Anadolu University, Museum of Cartoon Art. Although I had no official relation
with the museum those days, my family and I formed a nice friendship with this lovely
family (Mr. Rahim, his wife Ms. Mahdiye and their little girl Roz).
September, 2010 (Tabriz)
I was in Tabriz in order to represent the Museum of Cartoon Art as the Asistant Manager for
the 2nd Cartoon Museum Conference. Mr. Rahim and his team welcomed me and the other
museum managers in a very sincere and friendly manner and hosted us.
January, 2012 (Eskişehir, a few days later)
I hear the friendly and kind voice that says “This is Rahim Baggal Asghari, from Tabriz”.
After congratulating me for being manager he says that he wishes to support me for my
upcoming  projects  and  shall  be  glad  to  share his  experiences  in  cartoon  art  via  an
educational organization. After this, I suddenly realize that all my troubles disappear that
moment. Indeed, Mr. Rahim is such an appropriate cartoonist for the project we have been
planning. “Immediately” I say to him “we should realize this project. Please inform me about
your possibly early arrival schedule.”
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
March, 2012 (Eskişehir)
It was 19 March, 2012 when I welcomed Mr. Rahim in İstanbul and we came to Eskişehir.
Shooting the program took 3 days without interruption and planned to be screened in TRT
Okul in Autumn Season in 2012. We constituted a class atmosphere in the studio with some
of the Anadolu University Fine Art Faculty students who have an interest in cartoon art.      
Mr. Rahim started to teach the basics of the cartoon art to the lecturers in the studio and to
the lecturers beyond the TV screen.
After the completion of shooting, the team was exhausted but pleased. Even the program
team (director, director of photography, sound mixer and lightner) stated that they gained
an interest on cartoon art and wish to watch the program on TV, by drawing the cartoon at
the same time. As understood, the program already started to get favorable results even
before the screen date.
Before Mr. Rahim turned back to Tabriz, we tell each other how much we enjoyed to be a
part of this organization and start to make plans for future projects. While leaving, we are
absolutely sure that we have the same feelings: The Cartoon Museum Conference was a
chance for us to meet and this chance already turned into a productive organization for
cartoon art.
My first organization as a manager was something that I felt fully satisfied about. I’m proud
when I think how many people this program could reach and could form an interest for
cartoon art. I’m looking forward to watch this program on TV in Autumn Season, 2012.
Sadettin AYGUN
Connect through media, friendship and education
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
An Educational Success Story - one of many
From Sands to Comics
About two years after it opened, the Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon undertook to connect
with one of the local education system’s challenging programs: “Know Your City”. This was
done as part of the seventieth anniversary of the City of Holon.
The initial concept was simple – to connect the Museum’s content world – comics – with the
city in which it resides – Holon. The result – a graphic novel for children aged 8-10 entitled
From Sa nds t o C omics,  accompanied  by  a  complete  study  program  and  a  teachers’
preparatory course on the subject.
The Museum, which considers educating for creativity, free expression, and critical thinking
as its main core components, has developed four programs designed for the local education
• Childhood Project – for children in the lower elementary school grades.
• Holon is My City – for children in the higher elementary school grades.
• On I mage  and S tereotypes  – for j unior h igh sch ool st udents, a nd ch ildren
participating in the Personal Commitment – Community Service Program.
• Caricature and Freedom of Expression – for high school students.
We began working on From Sands to Comics together with Rami Aharoni, a native of the city
who is acquainted with its history and has written three books on the subject. Once we had
the raw material, archived photographs, and five stories describing the establishment of the
five neighborhoods that were later unified to form the city, we approached a highly regarded
comics creator and native of the city, Dorit Maya Gur, and asked her to turn the texts into a
graphic novel.
Three  months  later  we  received  the  illustrated  pages,  and  realized  that  we  were  now
committed to turning comics into part of the city’s educational program. We added some of
the archived photographs to the book, and a recommended walking tour in the city.
The Museum’s head instructor, Michal Korman, adapted the book into a study program for
4th and 5th grade students, and two years ago, with great excitement, we presented the
book and the program to the municipality’s Education Administration. Quite unexpectedly,
the Administration adopted the program, and the following September 1,500 of the city’s
students attended a series of three encounters at the Museum and participated in tours of
the city, substituting their regular schoolbooks for a graphic novel and drawing paper.
After two full cycles of the program, we are proud to say that the children who participated
in it are acquainted with the city, continue to explore it, and occasionally come back to the
Museum to bring us their drawings and learn something new.
Galit Gaon
Chief Curator
Design Museum, Cartoon Museum, HOLON
Connect through history, education environment
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Stories about getting connected: the Gabrovo Biennal
Our first ‘connecting’ story begins as early as 1973. Bulgaria, a country in the Socialist Bloc,
is well behind the Iron Curtain, ‘brotherly’ embraced by the Soviet Union (the USSR). The
West is satanized and capitalism, featured as a rapacious monster, is inevitably labeled as
Under the circumstances of political confrontation, on April 1st
, 1972 the House of Humour
and Satire was brought into the world on the local initiative of a small provincial Bulgarian
town – Gabrovo. The town had already hosted nine editions of a National Humour Festival;
jokes and anecdotes about thrifty Gabrovians were told right up to Scotland; the carnival in
town had opened a new page in 1965. How easy it is to say “brought into the world…” now!
However, t here w as a  m an ( Stefan F artunov, a l egal ad visor b y v ocation), wh o h ad
outstripped the time he was born in and who enjoyed the support of like-minded people and
the then town’s mayor arch. Karl Kandulkov. Fartonov managed to persuade the Communist
Party leaders in Gabrovo to launch an event under the heading International Biennial of
Cartoon and Small Satirical Sculpture. At the time there were but three or four cartoon
competitions in the  world:  Montreal, B ordighera,  Knokke-Heist. T heir co nception w as so 
appealing that it even beat the party members’ fear and risk that a similar event should be
inferred as an instrument of foreign influence. Following a selection, the First Biennial in
1973 showcased 348 artists from 32 nationalities and their 464 works. How the organizers
succeeded in achieving that is a question we are still wondering about – all that with no
Internet, no proper reference books and no computers. Except for director Stefan Fartunov,
three more people were employed to work for the House of Humour and Satire (still with no
building of its own) at the time: Petko Andreev, chief expert in Fine Arts; Veselin Vasilev (an
economist), chief expert in Cartoons and Zhulieta Meteva (a tourism graduate) who had a
natural bent for languages. The motto The World Lasts Because It Laughs was in fact Karl
Marx’s  thought  “Laughing,  mankind  bids  farewell  to  its  past”  paraphrased i n a  li ne by 
Bulgarian poet and satirist Radoy Ralin. The First International Biennal laid the groundwork
for a permanent exhibition Humour of the Peoples whereas the participation of artists from
32 countries was the most powerful backup for the establishment of the House of Humour
and Satire and its development into a unique meeting ground for both artists and fans
separated by the Iron Curtain.
In this sense, the history of the Biennial is a veritable record of connecting – minds
and ideas - and movement into the future; of breaking old stereotypes (political
and social alike); of overcoming the fear of encountering the other, the unknown
ones from the West. As to the citizens of Gabrovo and its visitors, it was an event unheard
of and unseen!
The Biennial has had its permanent premises – the House of Humour and Satire – since
1975. The formal opening of the building was honored by the very first man in the country –
Communist Party leader and head of state Todor Zhivkov himself; his daughter Lyudmila
Zhivkova, chairperson of the Committee on Culture at the time, brought the cultural elite of
Bulgaria along with the Diplomatic Corps to attend the Second Biennial and walk around the
Gabrovo turned into a Mecca of humour where artists from the East and the West could
meet face to face. The scope of the Biennial broadened considerably with the inclusion of
four more categories, and that makes it exceptional to the present day. As a matter of fact,
we h old, and  still  do, 6 b iennial c ompetitions si multaneously  – for  cartoons, g raphics,
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
paintings, scu lpture, p hotographs and posters under a  single h eading. The d evelopment
strategy of the House of Humour and Satire (worked out by the museum specialists and
some experts in the Ministry of Culture) laid down that extensive collection and research
work should be done in all kinds and genres of humour art. Thus, we threw a bridge and
connected visual with performing arts employing humour (cinema, theatre, clownery), as
well as with humoristic literature. The result was the opening of an Experimental Satirical
Theatre; the launching of an International Film Comedy Festival, of a National Meeting of
Joke- and S torytellers, e tc.  In a  s ocialist  country t hose  were u nheard-or undreamt-phenomena!
My first memories go back to 1974 when I started working at the House of Humour and
Satire. It was the most appealing and exciting place for a young university graduate to
launch a career, because the museum offered a direct access to information, freedom of
developing d ifferent d epartments c entered  on  particular g enres  of h umour  art, the
opportunity of establishing contacts through correspondence with artists and institutions
from all over the world, the opportunity of meeting and exchanging ideas and experiences
with people as diverse as the world itself. In 1980 there were more than 100 of us employed
in the House – young, educated, with a good sense of humour, adequately trained and
aspiring to make progress along with the institution. Who has not lived through socialism
would hardly understand us. Through the House and the Biennial we made our boldest
dreams come true – dreams about “getting connected” with artists from 173 countries
in  the  world;  dreams  about  overcoming  the  retrograde  stumbling  blocks  of  political
confrontation. W e b ecame  envoys o f p eace,  glasnost  (openness) a nd  perestroika
(restructuring). We felt part of the Wind of Change! This is how personal success has turned
Our 40-year experience has proven that:
- Ideas conveyed in humorous and satirical works of art can knock down stereotypes; fight
human vices; reconcile differences and change the world into a better place to live;
- To have all of the above happen and be sustainable in the course of time, it needs a well-founded i nstitution w ith a  steady  state  funding  and  strong  support  on  the  part  of
sponsors and artists alike. The House of Humour and Satire has built up a network
encompassing 15 800 artists and 9 300 institutions from 173 countries in the world;
- “Workers de termine e nd r esults.” (Stalin, 1 935). T he d irector’s  selection o f st aff i s
crucial! Give employees freedom to fulfill their potential and you will be astonished by
the results. Employees should be able to make progress alongside the advancement of
the institution. Every job is of consequence, so respect it and require respect back.  The
art of a leader is to build up effectively working teams able to stand up to competition.
Not the least important is the assessment of the public.
- Against all social and political changes, alternating governments, financial and other
global  crises,  the c hronology o f t he B iennial has  remained  unbroken  which  only
comes to demonstrate that the art of humour and satire is intransitive.  More than 9 160
artists from 173 countries have taken part in all the 20 editions of the International
Biennial of Humour and Satire in the Arts; 61 494 works in total have been submitted to
the B iennial s ix c ategories; a  t otal o f 4 40 p rizes, 7 4 h onorable m entions a nd 6 8
certificates of excellence  have been awarded;
Over the years the House of Humour and Satire has implemented some other successfully
‘connecting’ projects:
In 1996 and 1999 the International Cartoon Competition Fun-Loving Balkans linked 150
artists from the Balkan countries with cartoon lovers in Bulgaria at the height of a raging
war close to the Bulgarian border;
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
In 1998 the House of Humour and Satire held a National Cartoon Competition under the
heading Europe Dreams of Bulgaria which was funded by the Delegation of the European
Commission to Sofia. (At the time no one in Europe would ever want to hear of Bulgaria!)
The competition and ensuing exhibition, which toured a number of Balkan and European
countries, bonded 71 Bulgarian cartoonists with European citizens of all stripes;
In 2006 and 2008 the East-West European Encounters of Humour Art brought together
artists from both member- and non-member states of the EU, for we are convinced that
neither countries nor artists should be divided by any benchmark - just on the contrary,
artists  should  be incorporated i nto n etworks  and b rought c loser t o  Maurice S chumann’s
great European idea. Thus in 2008 we successfully brought off the project Smile at Your
Neighbor. It involved 8 humour artists from 7 European countries who were invited to make
drawings in the open; to show a small selection of works in a group exhibition; to join a
round-table  discussion  on i ntercultural d ialogue a nd  the rol e of   humour  in r ising  above
differences; to taste typical national dishes cooked by young chefs; to appreciate Gabrovo
dancers performing diverse ethnic dances, etc. The event was held within the framework of
a major national project implemented by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and funded by
the EU.
In  2009 (two y ears  after  Bulgaria’s  accession  to  the  EU)  Eurosapiens  National C artoon
Competition w as y et a nother  opportunity for  Bulgarian cartoonists t o c ross swords. T he
competition  was  funded b y  Mr. N ickolay M ladenov ( former MEP a nd  current M inister  of
Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria). The exhibition opening and prize-awarding ceremony took place
at the European Parliament in Brussels on April 1st
– the birthday of the House of Humour
and Satire. It was a remarkable story and an example of forging bonds: the initiative was
taken by the politicians; the organization was entirely handled by the Museum HOUSE OF
HUMOUR A ND S ATIRE; t he sh arp sa tirical  pens a nd m asterly b rushes  of t he a rtists
proclaimed, pricked like thorns, castigated, ridiculed and triumphed!
No, our stories about ‘getting connected’ do not end here…
Connect through European unity,  history and a look on the future, the need for
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Hi Smiley Thought I guess in the world, and as far as I know in my country, some kids and teenagers want to
draw cartoons. Some of them know their capabilities and talent, some do not. Where can
they go and who can they consult to draw? And again I guess in the world, and I know in my
country there were artists who were forgotten. There was a need for a place where people
could remember them. I knew that there were a lot of people who were waiting to visit these
kind of places.
Milas was the place where the famous cartoonist Turhan Selcuk was born. Milas was the city
of different civilizations. People in Milas were true art lovers. In short, it was the place I
always wanted.
I shared my thoughts with the Mayor of Milas, Muhammet Tokat. And we started to think
together. We established a committee. A recently restored house became ‘the place’ and it
What is in that “place”?
Free cartoon workshops
A section reserved for Turhan Selcuk (exhibition, personal items, and documentary display)
Meetings with famous cartoonists, workshops, and periodical exhibitions
National and international cartoon contests
Cartoon and Humor Library
Now, in that “place” kids and teenagers from Milas are drawing cartoons, and they do not
want a grim-faced world.
Their parents are smiling.
People of Milas are smiling.
Visitors are meeting with the cartoons of Turhan Selcuk and are learning the world he was
dreaming of.
People of Milas are sending their smiles to our “WORLD”.
With my warmest smile,
Kamil Masaraci
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Let me get back to my success story. My personal achievement is to be the wife of the
cartoon master Turhan Selcuk for 20 years. I do not have any talent in drawing cartoon but
I’m a very good cartoon reader. I’m actually a chemistry engineer. I do not know if there is
any relation between having an engineering background and being a good cartoon reader.
My m ain g oal is t o p rovide a  c ontinuous f low  of  Turhan S elcuk  Cartoons t o y ounger
generations  and  contribute  to  the  improvement  of  cartoon  art  as  a  universal  mode  of
communication. Turhan Selcuk enlightened the era he lived in. His legacy and works will live
In  regards t o m y  contribution t o t he m useum, n aturally, I  h ave d onated h is c artoons,
personal items, and his archive which is now displayed in the museum. In the course of
time, the museum’s archive as well as my contributions will grow and enrich.
I’m very glad that I will get to know you and other participants.
I hope the meeting will be a great success.
Ruhan Selcuk.
Connect through workshops, contests and smiles  
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
The International Forum of Visual Humour Karikaturum – the brand of Surgut City 
My congratulations! Four stars is real recognition!
What is it based on? On regularity, seriousness and quality of works selected for catalogues, and impartial
assessment of the prize-winning works. Four stars on the  The international center of Iranian cartoonist
«IRANCARTOON» website that unites a lot of artists is a great success!!! As I look at the terms of the contest, I see
that these stars are the guarantee of the organizers’ integrity and quality of the works’ assessment. In short, WELL
DONE!!! My congratulations!
extract from the letter by Vladimir Stepanov, cartoonist and jury member of multiple cartoon contests.
Organization of international contests enables museums to establish multiple partnership
contacts in your country and around the world and to integrate into the international art
community. Having established the International Forum of Visual Humour ‘KARIKATURUM’ in
2001, Surgut gained new opportunities to establish cultural cooperation with almost any city
in the world.
At the start, this project was perceived as risky, daring and doomed to fail. Surgut is located
at a distance of 3000 km from the centre of Russia. Even some Russian people still believe
that brown bears wearing valenki roam our streets (why valenki of all things? they are quite
warm here without any footwear) and I shudder to think what foreigners might think of
Surgut. Also, there is the perception that there is nothing but oil and gas (I wonder who
extracts this black gold? bears?). In 2011 Surgut held the well-deserved first place in the
national  rating  of  the  most  comfortable  cities,  conducted  by  the  Union  of  Architects  of
The idea to implement this project in Surgut was rather spontaneous. The meeting with
Novosibirsk artist Vladimir Stepanov in 2001 was a twist of destiny. A crazy wish to launch a
new cartoon contest that was international too, was born in his workshop. Done! For the first
KARIKATURUM  we  sent out o ver 2,000 i nvitations, we  only had to wait for the  artists’
‘replies’. We gained our first small victory here because we stated the jury members’ names
in the terms of the contest. After we received over 1,000 replies from all over the world, the
scale of the ‘anticipated results’ surprised even KARIKATURUM’s parents. It took a year for
the adventurous idea to become fully realized and the title KARIKATURUM to be associated
with Surgut, Surgut Fine Arts Museum and international contests of visual humour.
The International Forum of Visual Humour KARIKATURUM is a contest with an open list of
nominations, with the possibility not only to change the theme but nominations and jury. It
is t raditionally co mposed o f  famous ca rtoonists a nd ca rtoon  experts a s w ell.  We ha ve
$11,500 prize money and numerous special prizes. Each odd year we announce a new
theme and nominations and the jury chooses the winners; each even year the main events
of the Forum – the awards ceremony and the best works exhibitions – are held. The format
of the exhibition and the publishing of results are not fixed either. There are stationary
museum exhibitions, movable exhibitions in different cities of Russia and abroad, “open air
exhibitions” during city festivals, “exhibitions on wheels”, “window exhibitions” and “CITY-format exhibitions” on traditional advertisement banners. Today we can easily say that the
project, experimental in its nature, has become a landmark of our museum and the brand of
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Surgut F ine A rts M useum i s no t a  “ purely”  cartoon m useum.  It e xhibits a rcheological
collections of I-XVI centuries, Russian Art collections of XIX - XXI centuries, Siberian Art
collection and more. The fact that contest works sent for KARIKATURUM remain the property
of the museum has enabled us to gather a unique collection of ironic art. The collection now
numbers about 6000 items and includes cartoons, photos, small sculptures and author’s
dolls. In 2011 the museum conducted an international survey, the purpose of which was to
determine the best cartoonist nationally and internationally. We set a goal to assess the
level of our collection. As a result of this survey, we found that the level of our ironic art
collection is rather high; the museum owns the original works of 1036 cartoonists from 69
countries. I am not going to list them here in order not to forget anyone and offend them
with m y f orgetfulness. 6  c atalogues o f t he  International F orum of  V isual H umour
KARIKATURUM, where the best of the best were presented, were distributed around the
Thanks t o t he F orum w e h ave  another i nteresting c ollection  in ou r  museum “ The
Impressions of Surgut”, it is composed of cartoon-impressions drawn by the cartoonists who
visited Surgut. Over 70 venerable cartoonists, photographers and sculptors from around the
world visited Surgut to participate in awards and opening ceremonies. In 2006 another
unusual  monument  “Monument  to  Smile”  appeared  in  Surgut.  In  front  of  the  Museum
Centre, erected on a pedestal, there is a gigantic laughing fish with a mermaid wearing a
Russian ushanka – the symbol of KARIKTURUM - on its back. I don’t think that any cartoon
contest can afford to immortalize itself in bronze. The sculpture was created for Surgut by
Oleg Dergachev (Canada). The monument is especially popular among the just married; it’s
a popular venue for wedding processions. The fish’s palms are polished to a shine because
few visitors can resist touching its “calloused hands”. They say it brings luck.
The format of this edition does not make it possible to tell you about all KARIKATURUM
projects. That’s why I will only briefly describe the KARIKATURUM 5 Jubilee Festival. The
choosing of KARIKATURUM exhibition titles was an interesting task. Each project was given
its own original name according to the date and venue.  
The f irst p roject  KARIKATURUM: C UPID JUB ILEE started w ith th e e xhibition “ Lyubov-morkov” on St Valentine’s Day, February, 14.
The next exhibit project KARIKATURUM: HEALTHY JUBILEE was an ef fective r emedy f or
beriberi. It was held in the Clinical City Policlinic №1 and was a series of cartoon exhibitions
“The Secret of Siberian Health’ and ‘ART-tricks’.
On April, 1 the art museum and two transportation companies launched KARIKATURUM:
MOBILE JUBILEE. Cartoon exhibitions were held on bus lanes № 1,2,3,4. The numbers of
bus lanes correspond to 4 past International Forums of Visual Humour KARIKATURUM.
The airport opened its aerial gate for KARIKATURUM: FLYING JUBILEE where the “Surgut is
the capital of cartooning” exhibition was held.
KARIKATURUM: SERIOUS JUBILEE emphasized the seriousness of jubilee events. On June,
11, 2010 the final exhibition of KARIKATURUM 5, called “Passion”, was opened.
On June, 12 for the first time the Forum Awards Ceremony was held in public on the stage of
the State University Square. The exhibition that is traditionally held on Independence Day
was designed as exhibition rooms “on wheels” i.e. city buses bedecked with cartoons inside
and outside. The exhibition was accompanied by workshops, master-classes, contests and
quizzes.  KARIKATURUM’s mascot Mikha the teddy bear, a regular participant of all Forum
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
events, became the real gem of the holiday. The exhibition of ice sculptures “Irony in ice”
held in the historical and cultural centre “Old Surgut” was a New Year present for the city.
During  several  months  Surgut  was  turned  into  a  single  exhibition  space  with  its  hero,
Humour, and the museum extended its exhibition areas. 
KARIKATURUM is probably our city’s most successful cultural initiative.
Svetlana Kruglova,
Director of Surgut Fine Arts Museum,
KARIKATURUM organizer and ideologist
Connect through experiments, international contests and art
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
The Story of Tabriz Cartoon Museum We had been exiled. If I want to speak outside of the usual pleasantries, I must say we had
been exiled from an art complex in a good neighborhood where we had a thriving office to
the offenders` area. This historic building was located in the middle of a park where women
could not come and go with security and peace of mind. It was a dilapidated building and
had been conquered by addicts. Either I should close Tabriz Cartoon Association or achieved
a success from heart of this failure.
So when we went to see the dilapidated building with the art director for the first time, I felt
as if I were walking in a big museum and undoubtedly these imaginations created beautiful
images in my mind. I called the young members and wanted them to help establish a
cartoon museum in the east of the world and in Iran for the first time. Art directors did not
prevent our activities and we began to work quickly. Since a few years ago the building was
used as the national library, we could find several great and heavy book shelves. We pushed
them with help of 20 people and put the old shelves as a wall in the middle of hall. I wanted
the young members whose academic course was to make a concrete sculpture and I began
working with cement and bricks with them. Then one of the members who knew carpentry
partitioned off the hall by wooden walls. Of course, later on we reduced the number of
partitions. I n a  su nny d ay, w e a ll sw ept a nd w ashed t he b uilding. S ince w e w ere  not
sculptor, the statue became a little short. The older members brought lunch for us and I saw
the girls were washing the windows which had not been washed for years.
In those days, we were holding the 6th international festival of Tabriz and I wa nted the
award ceremony to be held in the museum and its great hall. Workers were plastering the
walls. Each of the hundred members was busy in doing something. Rashid Yakali deputy of
Turkey cartoonists association that was a guest in Tabriz for 6th festival said with worries:
"Museum building works are not finished until the day of closing ceremony"… and he heard
the answer: "Will be finished…" Guests were arriving from other cities but the building
works had not still been completed. However, we performed tasks more quickly. Friends
from the art department came to help us. We were engaged in a real struggle. I said to my
friends  I  will  hold  so  much  exhibitions  and  festivals  in  this  neighborhood  that  the
surrounding area is also affected.
Gradually, women  were  seen  in  this  park.  They  came  to  museum  every  day  and
environment was improved little by little. In the opening day of the museum the works were
completed i n  the l ast  seconds.  Telephone w ires w ere  connected,  the  entrance hall was
installed, pavement was repaired and chairs were arranged. We had about 500 guests and
the museum opened with the enthusiasm of people and efforts of Tabriz Cartoon Association
members. At night, I could not sleep due to pain in my feet. I got sick a week but it was
something like a light grove in my heart …. Now six years have passed since that day and
the museum has found its way but we never forget those days that existed with love and
Rahim Baghal Asghari Baghmishe
Connect through hard work, social care and companionship
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Museum of Cartoon Art and Caricature in Warsaw A year has passed since I took up the direction of the Museum of Cartoon Art and Caricature
in Warsaw. It’s been a year abounding in unforgettable experiences and in important artistic
events.  I h ave s taged f ive t emporary e xhibitions a nd t wo c artoon c ompetitions: on e
international dedicated to the topic of football, a nd t he ot her  – for t he “cartoon of t he
month”, d irected t o P olish c artoonists. E arly n ext y ear w e a re m ounting a n e xhibition
featuring t he “ cartoons of t he  year”, d uring w hich w e w ill p resent  all t he a warded a nd
recommended works and grant the award for the year 2012.
Our competition entitled “The Ball is in Play” had more than a thousand and two hundred
entries, three hundred of which qualified for the final stage. An exhibition showing selected
competition works is presently on view in our Museum. It was running during the 2012 UEFA
European Football Championship, attracting steady interest, and will continue for the next
two months until September 2012.
The hardest exhibition to organize was the one that opened in our Museum in March this
year, documenting a tragic chapter in our history. The exhibition, entitled “Warsaw 1939-1944 - Underground Satire and the Realities of Occupation in the Works of Polish Graphic
Artists,” comprised more than a hundred works by artists who used their drawings as a
weapon against the German invader. In the German-occupied Warsaw, satirical cartoons
raised the spirits of the oppressed nation. The works created in that period were simple and
fast, and they harmed the enemy as effectively as the most accurate of weapons. Those
cartoons, along with popular rhymes, street jokes and songs, have now become symbols of
resistance and of the indomitable spirit. Produced on such a scale, they were a unique
phenomenon in the history of Europe. We presented drawings which ridiculed the German
occupying forces, as well as caricatures of the Führer of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler and his
Italian ally, Benito Mussolini. Other cartoons at the exhibition show the German nation as
victims of the Nazi regime.
One section of the exhibition was entitled “The Presence of the Polish Underground State”.
The whole event documented the existence in our country of a phenomenon unknown in all
the other parts of occupied Europe – namely, an organized underground state structure,
continuing the activity of a state occupied and yet unconquered. In this particular section of
the exhibition, we wished to illustrate two crucial functions of underground satire, related to
its influence on the moods and attitudes of the Polish society: through satire, the Polish
Secret State demonstrated its ongoing activity and called upon the people to resist the
occupation actively.
Another section was dedicated to the living conditions in occupied Warsaw. It opened with
drawings of the city in the autumn of 1939: houses ruined by Luftwaffe’s barbarian air raids,
the inhabitants eking out a living in poverty, the arrogant and cruel invaders.
The realistic watercolors of the Jewish district, painted in 1942 by a teenage girl - Teofila
Langnas  – depict t he  horror  of t he W arsaw  Ghetto. T his s ection of  t he  exhibition w as
complemented by drawings of the terror that reigned supreme in the city, culminating in the
mass public street executions that came in the autumn of 1943 and continued through the
first months of the following year.
We a lso s howed  extremely ra re c opies of  u nderground s atirical a nd c omic m agazines.
According to expert estimates, half of the 16 underground periodicals appearing in Poland
under the occupation were published in Warsaw. Visitors had the opportunity to see several
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
issues of those bulletins, as well as reproduced mastheads and title pages of others whose
originals we have not been able to obtain. Significantly, satirical drawings were also printed
by u nderground n ewspapers, p olitical a nd so cio-cultural titles; most frequently  – in t he
magazine entitled The Democrat.
The satirical magazines printed by the underground state in Warsaw also included those
used du ring t he “ Operation N ”, a iming t o  spread de featism i n t he en emy  ranks b y
addressing Germans in a language which they could understand. Of special interest in this
category is the Klabautermann, designed graphically by the eminent Polish graphic artist
Stanisław Tomaszewski, professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw after the war.
The invaders were bent on continually intimidating the subdued people, on convincing them
that the Allies stood no chance of winning the war and Poland could not dream of regaining
independence. The activity of the underground, however, disproved this propaganda. The
chief aim of underground satire was to help Poles overcome their fear of the seemingly all-powerful and invincible foe. The first proof of success in this campaign were the smiles on
the faces of the subjugated people when they saw the words “Deutschland kaput” on a wall
or a fence, or a gallows improvised on a streetlamp, with the inscription “nur für Deutsche”.
This helped them hold their heads up again, restored the faith in the ultimate defeat of the
Third Reich and in their own victory.
In  order  to h elp ou r v isitors r ealize t he h orrors  of t he  wars  and oc cupation, w e
supplemented the exhibition with historical photographs from that time. We showed Warsaw
inhabitants hanged by the Germans from a balcony in the city centre and on specially
constructed g allows on  t he  outskirts; ol d J ews  driven t o  places  of h ard l abor,  and  the
omnipresent Germans terrorizing the streets of Warsaw. The presentation was accompanied
by a soundtrack with the sound of street fighting, fragments of street songs from that cruel
time, sounds of life in the occupied city, where shooting and executions were everyday
The exhibition was visited both by young people – for whom those events are history – and
by those who took part in the struggle with the invaders, by witnesses of the war. Many
people contributed their hearts, knowledge and talents to that important and extraordinary
event: a marriage of art and history.
Zygmunt Zaradkiewicz
Connect through history, resistance and human bravery
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Connecting through cartoons in Serbia
Cartoons were very mighty means in communication throughout the complete history of
mankind.  Striking  examples  of  that we  can f ind  from  pharaohs in Egypt or the Roman
empire until today, with the increasing importance as we approach the present. And, as it
could be predicted, the importance of cartoons in communication between the people will be
more and more important in the future.
Just one example: from the beginning of the last decade of 20th
century, coincided with the
turbulent times  in  ex-Yugoslavia  and  in  Serbia,  the  importance  of  the  cartoons  in
newspapers was growing, especially before the elections. The sharpest critic of the regime in
Serbia, famous cartoonist Corax, was so popular that on the huge street demonstrations
against  the  regime  in  1996  among  other  signs  was  one  with  the  message  “Corax  for
president”. Corax himself was among the demonstrators, so a lot of people were able to talk
with him and to discuss his cartoons which, in those very hard and hopeless times for
ordinary people, were almost a medicine.
From the other side, public very rarely has the occasion to meet cartoonists and to talk with
them. The writers are in a better position: on the literary evenings and the presentations of
their books the public can discuss with them, even not only about the book, but also on
other  subjects.  Cartoonists  (as  well  as  painters  or  sculptors) only meet their pu blic  on
exhibitions, and there is no chance for some closer contacts.
Cartoon m useums a re  ideal p laces fo r co nnecting b etween ca rtoonists a nd t he p ublic.
Zemun cartoon museum unfortunately still has no adequate space for exhibitions and other
needs, but several times we organized specific meetings with cartoonists and their admirers,
mainly d uring t he c artoon  exhibitions i n a  t own g allery.  Those w ere v ery i nteresting
meetings which gathered a lot of people, who discussed different themes with cartoonists.
The most interesting of those meetings was one arranged regarding a book “Zemun school
of cartooning”, held in 1996 in a big yard of a restaurant. It was presented over 400 very
interested people, as well as 13 Zemun cartoonists of different generations and different
artistic stiles, and the event lasted over two hours.
Zemun cartoon museum, as we said previously, has no adequate space, so our contacts with
public are rare and limited only on exhibitions in different galleries. Of course, we are open
for all who need information, for example for the students of fine art. Some of them asked
certain material or information and in that case museum library or archive are available to
them. Also, we collaborated with some cartoon theoretic from Serbia and abroad, as well as
with so me ca rtoon l overs w hich a sked fo r s ome  copies o f t heir fa vorite ca rtoons. B ut
generally, wide contacts and connecting with the public we do not. 
Yet, one of such contacts was very interesting. Namely, one day the owner of a pub where
Bojana and I often drop, came in the museum and asked me: “Do you know cartoonist
Apicella?”. I was really surprised: Enzo Apicella in Italy is only known by readers of the
communist newspaper “Liberazione”, where he publishes his cartoons and in England, where
he lives, also few people heard about him but… the fact that pub owner in Zemun knows him
was almost a miracle. Well, I know a lot about Apicella because I organized his personal
exhibition in Zemun in 2000 and he was our guest for several days. I told that to my
acquaintance and then asked him how he knows Apicella. He explained me that he worked
for some time in London as a barman in a pub where Apicella often dropped, but he was still
abroad in 2000 and never heard about Apicella`s exhibition in Zemun. After all, I gave to
the pub owner Apicella`s portfolio with a lot of his cartoons – the artist gave his complete
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
exhibition to Zemun museum as a gift – and my acquaintance spent almost an hour looking
them and discussing with me and talking me some witty stories from London connecting
with Enzo Apicella.
Much more contacts a re connecting Zemun cartoon museum with cartoonists. In Serbia
there are around 200 cartoonists and most of them have very close contacts with us. They
send us their books, albums and catalogs from the exhibitions, even some cartoons for the
museum collection. On the other side, some Serbian cartoonists asked us from time to time
to borrow them their cartoons which are in the museum collection for their retrospective
exhibitions. So, the contacts and the connecting is mainly professional, but with a couple of
Serbian cartoonists we have also very close friendly relations and they are always ready to
help us in different projects.
After the dead of several well known older Serbian cartoonists, their families brought to
Zemun museum a lot of their cartoons and books, then some trophies from competitions,
but also some personal things like favorite pencils, glasses etc. We accepted all that in a
purpose to keep alive a part of Serbian cartoon history. But one of such gifts was very
touching. Namely, the widow of our known cartoonist Daskalović, after his death brought to
Zemun museum, among other personal things, a chocolate! He explained me that her late
husband liked that kind of chocolate the best and that she would be happy if we add it to the
museum collection! After a short time I accepted it, so Daskalović`s favorite chocolate is
now in Zemun museum.
Zemun cartoon museum also has close contacts with a lot of cartoonists from abroad. Some
of them were our guests, like the awarded artists on our regular contests or those with
personal exhibitions in Zemun. Others we met abroad on different occasions. They also
collaborated w ith Z emun m useum t hrough se nding d ifferent m aterials su ch a s b ooks,
catalogs and cartoons and with some of them we are also in very close friendship. Lot of
cartoonists  which  had  personal  exhibitions  in  Zemun  gave  complete  exhibitions  to  the
Zemun museum, like Larry, Apicella, Ivan Kutuzov, Oleg Dergachov and many others.
Also, through cartoons we met several very serious collectors of cartoon books from abroad
(Jean-Marie Bertin from France, Wolf Geyer from Germany…) and with them we collaborated
intensively. The more, with Jean-Marie Bertin we made very friendly ties.
During y ears, Z emun I nternational S alon  of C aricature a nd Z emun c artoon m useum
established a good connection with a lot of cartoon museums around the world. For us, such
connections are  very  important  because  we  accomplished  some  exhibitions  abroad,  in
different countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland), as well as a
few ex hibitions i n Z emun, r epresenting m aterial f rom  other m useums h ere. A ll t hose
exhibitions were a good chance to familiarize domestic public with the material of other
museums. The most important for us was the cartoon museums directors meeting, for the
first time organized in Eskishehir in Turkey, and the third which we organized in Zemun last
year. Those meetings were a very good and useful experience for all participants and an
occasion to make better connections between museums.
Yet it is said that the connections and collaboration between museums had to be through
exchanging exhibitions, publications etc. Also, such connections could be realized through a
practice t hat e ach m useum f or t he j ury  of t he c ontest i t org anizes, has t o in vite a 
representative  of a nother  cartoon m useum. A nd, m aybe t he m ost i mportant,  such
connections could be realized through visits of directors and other specialized staff to other
museums to familiarize with their experiences in presentation and keep cartoons and other
materials, in connection and contact with the public and the cartoonists and many other
things related to the complete work of a cartoon museum. Mostly the purposes and the aims
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
of cartoon museums are the same and the methods of work are similar, nevertheless there
are some specifics in the work and organization of each of them. I can say that a l ot of
things according to work and organization I learned during my official (and unofficial) visits
to the cartoon museums in Basel, Gabrovo, Warszawa, Kruishoutem and others. Such visits
helped me to organize the cartoon museum in Zemun as well as it was possible.
Maybe the most important aspect of the connecting through cartoon is a friendship made
with a lot of different, but mostly wonderful people all round the world: cartoonists, directors
and staffs of cartoon museums, cartoon lovers etc as well as the members of their families.
From my experience, such friendships are very sincere and firm, more sincere and firm than
some other friendships based on another connection.
Branko Najhold
Director of the Zemun Cartoon Museum
Connect through communication, friendship and collaboration
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
The Egyptian Caricature Museum
After I graduated from the Alexandrian Academy of Fine Arts, I travelled to Spain in 1978
and this is where I directly got involved with caricature. You could say that the production of
satirical drawings actually saved my life; six months after my arrival when I found myself
without money caricature came to secure my daily income.
I h ad  walked  around  town  and wat ched t he  artists  who  were  eagerly  working  on  their
pictures and portraits on the Plaza Major in Madrid. Furthermore I became aware of the fact
that none of them was using the artistic form of caricature.
I sat down and spontaneously drew the person who was sitting in front of me. After I had
finished; this stranger appreciated my work so much that he did not only pay me 10 dollars,
but also brought one friend after the other for me to draw their portraits. This is how I got
integrated into the artistic community of the Plaza Major and was able to survive for the
next six months by drawing satirical pictures of the tourists who were visiting Madrid.
As a matter of fact I had never before and never after drawn this kind of caricature.
But nevertheless I can truly affirm that it saved my life. This is how I fell in love with
caricature a s a  fo rm  of a rt. A s a  m atter o f fa ct, w henever  I v isit a   new co untry,  I
immediately go and search for the local caricature museum.
In 1985 when I came back to Egypt, I attempted to collect caricatures and started looking
for them. This proved to be a very difficult task as the artists usually handed their work in to
the n ewspapers a nd g ot ri d of  t he originals a fter t heir p ublication.  I w as  scared t hat
Egyptian caricature might disappear without a trace in any archive.  I therefore set out to
search for original caricatures and my love guided me. For over20 years I have collected
piece by piece, until was finally ready to show them.
George Bahgouri an Egyptian caricaturist stated in “Al Ahram Weekly” in 2009:
“I have been a cartoon artist for nearly half a century, and I have often dreamt of a cartoon
museum in my country. It was a dream that most of the time I managed to banish from my
thoughts, since I knew how hard it would be.
Working in my studio one day, I am interrupted by Mohamed Abla, my friend of many years.
He comes in, plumps himself down in front of one of my paintings, and starts waving his
hands about, a sign that he has a piece of news. “Every time I sold a painting I bought a
brick,” he states.
The bricks are now assembled in Fayoum in the shape of a couple-house made of natural
clay  designed  by  Adel  Fahmy a nd do nated by M ohamed  Abla. “ I will  be invited  to  the
inauguration of a caricature museum in Fayoum not on the first of April, it is not a joke, but
on the first of March!” Abla wanted Bahgouri and a chartered bus full of caricaturists to join
him in the village of Tunis in Fayoum for the opening-day of the museum.
From the catalogue of the caricature museum:
“The art of the Egyptian caricature, since its rise at the beginning of the twentieth century,
has honestly mirrored the political and social changes that affected Egyptians and altered
their characteristics. In order to understand their reactions outer appearance, interests and
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
relationship with the outside world, there cannot be a more truthful depiction than the one
found in Egyptian satire.
I developed the Caricature Museum to house some of the works created by exceptional
artists and to honor their pivotal (at times overlooked) role in relaying the emotional, social
and political conditions of Egypt. It is in a way a sanctuary for these works so that they may
always e xist an d r emain  in o ur me mories a nd n ot be  d iscarded li ke t he n ewspaper o r
magazine they were printed in. The world of the Egyptian caricature is filled with as much
sorrow as it is with laughter. There are boundless stories of arrests, vagrancy and exile. The
museum is also a testament to the artists that faced many hardships with humor and a witty
I believe that Egyptian caricature has always been at the forefront of expressing the creeds,
hopes  and  dreams  of  this  society,  and  that  the  essence  of  this  art m akes i t t he t rue
representative of the soul of modern art as a whole, being a merge between an idea and the
elements of visual art. Aside from the clarity of its objective, it is very similar to theater and
other a pplied a rts i n pr ovoking a n  immediate reaction a nd  instantaneous c onnection
between viewer and artist. Who among us was not moved by caricatures and forced to think
about his own position in regard to the courage and depth of ideas expressed by these
I d edicate  this  museum t o  the  spirit  of  Zohdi  El-Adawi,  one  of  whose d ream  was  “the
creation of a caricature museum. “
Caricature has carried the responsibility of serving as a mouthpiece of the Egyptian national
cause from its very beginning at the end of the 19th
century. And -most importantly- satirical
drawings already made an important contribution to the fight of independence just about
three decades after their first appearance in a modern newspaper. Ever since, Egyptian
caricature has displayed the socio-political developments in a critical, mocking and partially
hidden way.
It continued to do so during the challenging time of the last Egyptian revolution.
Dr  Eliane U rsula E ttmueller w rote i n “ Studies i n C ontemporary H istory C aricature a nd
Egypt’s Revolution of the 25th
January 2011”:
“During the most intensive days from the 28th
of January until the 11th
of February 2011 a
great number of people gathered, as we all know, on Cairo’s Tahrir Square without knowing
whether they would return home alive. They were aware of this danger and even willing to
die for the freedom of their nation. By 2 of February, later dubbed “the Battle of the Camel,”
when Mubarak had the baltagiyya (thugs) violently attack the demonstrators, everybody had
witnessed other people being injured or e ven killed. Contrary to the expectations of the
power holders, the demonstrators were not scared off. […] In this so entirely exceptional
situation, caricature was continuously composed by whoever felt like expressing him- or
herself in this way. Pictorial satire had escaped the restrictive frame of printed paper. More
or less artistically accomplished caricatures were painted on walls, printed or d rawn on T-shirts and banderols, animatedly staged by groups, individuals or with puppets and even
symbolically interpreted.
Pictures of Mubarak himself, [whose image until then had enjoyed the privilege of ever-lasting, exaggerated beauty], were no violently deformed and disfigured with a pirate’s eye
patch or Hitler’s moustache. Loyal to the original feature imprinted into caricature by the
pioneer Carracci movement against the idealism of Renaissance paintings, this genre came
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
to tear down the unrealistic, iconographic image of the never-aging Hosni Mubarak and to
finally unmask the true, evil face of the Egyptian Dorian Gray.
[…] On Tahrir Square, caricature had come to play different roles. Firstly, satirical drawings
were c oined as  a p olitical we apon b y m eans o f wh ich t he p resident was  f orced i nto
resignation. With this aim, people used whatever they had in order to produce satire. They
even turned themselves into embodied caricatures. A young man, for example, circled the
square with a paper that read:”Step down my hands are hurting (from holding the banner)!”
Secondly, caricature and enacted satire helped Egyptians to keep their spirits of resistance
high. Especially spontaneous parodies of the president, where one or two people performed
and the crowd could shout back at them, were extremely helpful for this purpose. In order
to make the demonstrators endure the long hours of waiting and the constant feeling of
threat on the square, artists typically performed sketches, poems and songs with satirical
content. Thirdly, banners with caricatures and satirical texts were used in order to transport
the message to the outside- back home to the family as well as to potential allies.”
The long history of Egyptian caricature will continue and so does my dream of exhibiting and
promoting this special lively art.  I am also aware of the fact that we are still at the very
beginning of an enormous project which I hope  -from the bottom of my heart-  will enhance
the production of and the research into this field by interested students all over the world.
Mohamed Abla
Connect through politics, art and dreams
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Once Upon a Toon… A Pittsburgh man with rectangular framed glasses and a b ristly beard (quite a cartoon
character  himself)  envisioned  a  museum.  In  fact,  it  was  not  just  a  museum,  but  a
ToonSeum, where cartoon art would be celebrated for the young and the young-at-heart.
That man with a vision was Joe Wos and he is here to tell you how it all began.
“For t he p ast 2 5 years, I h ave b een a  p erforming cartoonist a nd storyteller, combining
storytelling with live cartoon illustration on stage. I have performed for venues throughout
the United States. Ten years ago I got a life changing phone call from a young man who had
seen me perform in Columbus, Ohio. The caller was the newly appointed education director
of t he s oon-to-open C harles M . S chulz M useum a nd R esearch C enter i n S anta R osa,
California. The d irector w anted t o know i f I   would p erform a nd l ead w orkshops f or t he
opening week’s festivities. I was overwhelmed and delighted, and considering Schulz was
my hero and inspiration, I immediately accepted the opportunity. A few months later, I was
bound for my first trip to California.
Prior to working for the Charles M. Shultz Museum, I worked as a performer and consultant
with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for over two decades. At the Children's Museum, I
worked in a variety of ways including exhibitions, education, events, outreach programs as
well as assisting in other programs. Now, I had already performed at hundreds of venues,
but t his w as sp ecial.  This w as a  m useum d edicated t o a   cartoonist a nd n ot j ust a ny
cartoonist, but my personal hero. I had never met “Sparky”, as his friends, family and other
cartoonists called Mr. Schultz, and unfortunately I never got the chance because he passed
away before the Museum opened. I did, however, meet another inspiring hero, Jean Schulz.
Jeannie is to this day the driving force behind the Schulz Museum. She is a dynamic yet
modest visionary who saw the need for the Schulz Museum and made it a reality.  In the
years to follow, I would come to rely on her advice and support as the ToonSeum inched its
own way into existence.
I spent a week performing and getting to know the audience, staff and volunteers that make
up t he S chulz M useum. A fter t hat w eek,  I l eft o n a  t our o f S an F rancisco w here  I
encountered the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum. It was then I realized I was looking at
what could be the next big museum movement in America: Cartoon Art Museums! Having
been  with  the  Children’s  Museum  of  Pittsburgh  for  so  long,  I  watched  as  the  children
museums industry expanded from just a handful of cities to a national phenomenon with
major museums in every city. When I returned to Pittsburgh, I immersed myself in learning
all I  c ould a bout t he o perations o f mu seums.  I me t e very  day w ith ma rketing,
administration, volunteers, staff, and anyone I could who would listen to my idea.
As it happened, I had been collecting cartoon art over much of my adult life. At this time, I
had amassed a collection of over 500 pieces and I realized this collection could serve as the
basis for an exhibition gallery. I decided the best way to begin would be by prototyping a
gallery. The Children’s Museum agreed to provide an under-utilized hallway which I could
retrofit  with  a  hanging  system  and  signage  to  create  an  appropriate  space.  It  quickly
became clear, however, that I would be on my own for raising the funds. I also knew that
meant that I would have to create a non-profit entity which meant giving up any ownership.
Around this time, the International Cartoon Art Museum was closing in Boca Raton. Mort
Walker had made several noble attempts at maintaining a cartoon art museum but he had
now essentially decided to move on.
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Through Jeannie Schulz, I got a meeting with Mort and asked if he would give me some
advice. He consented and gave me the best advice I have every received on starting a
museum: “Don’t do it.” He went on to let me know it would be an all-consuming passion. It
would alter my life, be long hours, and ultimately it would never be mine. Also, I would have
to give up my collection and my career and even then there were no guarantees it would
succeed. He then said he could clearly see I was going to do it, and wished me success. But
he prepared me, by letting me know the difficulty that would lie ahead, and sharing with me
mistakes that he had made. So with my newfound knowledge, I entered with eyes wide
open into the adventure of starting a cartoon art museum in Pittsburgh.
With sage advice and life experience to back me, I began the process of putting together a
board of directors. I started with local cartoonists, people I admired and respected but did
not know personally. I was determined that I would not have family or friends on this board.
I wanted to do it right and receive honest feedback every step of the way. I wasn’t doing
this for me, I was doing this for Pittsburgh and beyond.
The board came together quickly. Rob Rogers, an editorial cartoonist and former president
of the Editorial Cartoonists Association, became our President. I worked closely with him to
build the rest of the board of directors, which was a mix of entrepreneurs, business leaders,
and artists.
In June of 2007, we opened our first exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh with
help from our first sponsor, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. The first exhibit was entitled
“From Illustration to Animation” and showed the process of turning a children's book into an
animated cartoon. The exhibit featured original art from several children’s classic animated
cartoons including Horton Hears a Who, Charlotte’s Web, Berenstein Bears, Heidi and much
more.  It  also  featured  storyboard,  cels,  sketches  and  notes,  all  which  came  from  my
personal collection. The exhibit was a success and set the standards we hold for exhibitions
to this day:
Exhibit should contain original art, not reproductions.
Exhibits should show the creative process.
Exhibits should appeal to a wide audience when possible.
Artwork should be simply framed with a white mat and black frame.
Programming should complement all exhibits.
Staff and volunteers should be able to engage guests in informative dialogue about all of the
We went on to present twelve more exhibitions during our time at the Children’s Museum.
Overall, it was a symbiotic relationship.  We brought the museum a new audience, quality
exhibitions and we had a place to call home. However it was not a sustainable strategy.
Without a revenue stream of admission, and the Children’s Museum’s demand to approve all
grant applications, we could not grow.
It was a censorship issue, however, that led us to end our time with the children’s museum,
clearly not all our content was fit for a children’s venue! It is our belief that art is an
expression of freedom of speech. So like every comic book geek, we realized there comes a
time when you must move out of your parent’s basement.
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Word hit the streets that the ToonSeum was looking to move and expand and I immediately
received invites from around the country to move the ToonSeum to their cities. (A fact I
hadn’t revealed to anyone until now! But the ToonSeum almost ended up in Georgia!) But in
my heart I knew we belonged in Pittsburgh. We had built a strong support network of fans
and foundations.
After a lot of site visits and research, we moved to downtown Pittsburgh at the invite of the
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. We decided to find a private landlord within the Cultural District,
making us the only independent arts organization not renting off the trust within the Cultural
District of Pittsburgh. We had learned from our relationship with the Children’s Museum that
a cartoon art museum had to be completely independent of editorial influences from outside
the institution. And with greatly appreciated funding from the Grable Foundation we were
able to complete the move in 2009.
We opened our doors to great fanfare and enthusiasm.  M uch to our gratitude, the front
page of both local papers covered our opening event with legendary jazz musician and
composer of the music for the classic cartoon School House Rocks. The ToonSeum was home
and guests were beginning to trek from all over the world to see our Akira Exhibition, Gertie
the Dinosaur, and now over 2000 pieces rotating through our gallery. We acquired large
collections from the now defunct Cartoon Art Museum in Ticonderoga, New York, as well as
some pieces from Mort Walkers International Cartoon Art Museum.
For two years we would be in our humble storefront in downtown Pittsburgh. A small gift
shop was run by a local comic store, but again we longed for independence and growth.
In 2011 a few opportunities arose and we made two big decisions. The gift shop was now
run solely by the Toonseum instead of a previously independent retailer, which in turn would
increase both responsibility and revenues. When the timing was right we would use the
revenue to expand our gallery doors. In 2011 the Toonseum also added a second gallery
and  outdoor  courtyard.  The  gallery  was  named  after  Pittsburgh  native,  cartoonist  and
producer Lou Scheimer of Filmation. He was best known for his work on He-Man, Fat Albert
and the Archies. He cut the ribbon using a replica of He-Man’s Power Sword from the 1982
Macy's Day Parade!
The space befits us. It is located on a culturally diverse and quirky block. Our courtyard
features three cartoon-like musician statues that predate us but fit our space well. We have
become the anchor of a pop culture tourism movement in Pittsburgh. In 2011, the much-anticipated film The Dark Knight Rises was filmed directly in front of the ToonSeum. We had
a superhero exhibit at the time and the special guest was legendary Joker creator Jerry
Robinson. It was with great delight we welcomed Dark Knight director Chris Nolan for a visit.
It was a real highlight and no doubt with the release of Dark Knight Rises we will see even
more tourists making the pilgrimage to Pittsburgh, The Birth Place of Pop Culture! There
have been far too many exhibits, programs, guests, partnerships, and more to list here. All
of them are wonderful moments in the ToonSeum brief history.
While I  l ook f orward  to c ontinued g rowth, n ew e xhibits a nd e xciting p rograms  at  the
ToonSeum, I have always recognized that this museum has never been about me. It is
about our fans, our volunteers and our staff. They make every day a delight to be here. I am
surrounded not just by the art that has inspired me, but by people who inspire me. I could
not h ave d one th is w ithout o ur bo ard a nd  dedicated v olunteers.  My r ight h and, M andi
Bridgeman, has truly been a godsend who has helped us grow our fan-base by leaps and
bounds. W e c ontinue  to gr ow, a nd i n 2 013 w e w ill be  h onored  to host th e  National
Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards, the first time our city has hosted in the NCS’s almost 70
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
year history. We have also taken a lead role in hosting a US Cartoon Museum Conference in
Pittsburgh in late 2012 (Inspired by my participation in this conference!)
As Mort Walker warned me, there would be great personal sacrifice, but not a minute of
regret. I look forward to the coming years of new exhibitions, new fans, new friends and
new collaborations.
And perhaps… an exhibition or two of ours touring the world. But that is up to all of you.
Joe Wos
Connect through heroes, exhibitions and courage
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Humour as lever to the Museum work… The PortoCartoon was a small adventure in the great adventure of the Portuguese Printing
Press  Museum.  At  the  museum’s  inauguration  in  1997,  the  Portuguese  President  Jorge
Sampaio asked about the capacity of the museum to organize every year a festival of this
magnitude. Would this be too much audacious? - He asked me. It may be, I said. The
museum itself has the mark of courage. So let's see how the cartoonists around the world
will answer our call. They will have the answer.
My calm response hid some fear. We knew that other festivals and competitions were well
established in some countries. We knew that space was not that wide for PortoCartoon, but
daring doesn’t cost a thing. We had done a survey of the existing initiatives and their
features. Right from the beginning we chose to have an international strong theme as a
distinctive  feature,  together  with  other  aspects  that  proved  to  make  the  difference  we
wanted to take on the valorisation of the cartoon as a kind of journalistic intervention.
This was a feature that we assume since the beginning: the cartoon is a journalistic style.
Since t he fi rst ca talogue t his w as m arked,  even t hough k nowing t hat t he J ournalism
manuals do not assume this... This is one of the main reasons for the close relationship
between a printing press museum and a permanent space for cartoons. The International
Cartoon Gallery is certainly one of the few places in the world of graphic humour that is daily
open: 365 days/year. Or 366, as 2012 is a leap year!
In these few years of PortoCartoon and International Cartoon Gallery existence, the humour
has served as a lever to the Museum work. It has been spread either by the city of Porto, or
by  other  Portuguese  and  foreign  cities.  This  humour  brings  and  takes  stories  with  it.
Later, in 1999, there was also another story with the same Portuguese President, at the
inauguration of the International Cartoon Gallery. The spongy ground, the little lighting and
the sensors caused some fear and hesitation at the entrance. The President Jorge Sampaio
hesitated, but s oon m oved f orward a nd  found h imself  in a  d istortion m irror o f a uto-caricature, and enjoyed seeing himself distorted in different ways. Unlike a lady who stood
beside him and said "oh what a fear!". She turned back and was never seen again. Humour
can also be scary!!!
The idea that humour can scare is more present in its relationship with power. Since ever
cartoons frighten the powerful. Since before Daumier and also after him. This is one of the
virtues of his intervention. Humour is one of the few truths, proud and serious in the world
of unbelief, untruth and inhumanity.
Luís Humberto Marcos
Cartoon Virtual Museum
Connect through press, adventure and courage
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Cartoons and local history Het Markiezenhof, museum and archives Bergen op Zoom
Het Markiezenhof is the oldest town palace in the Netherlands. It was originally built in the
late 15th
century. Nowadays  Het Markiezenhof is a museum and it houses the municipal 
archives. The museum focuses on the history of the town and region, the history of the
fairground and on exhibitions of international political cartoons since 1900.
Museum of international political cartoons
New exhibitions regularly take place where well-known and less well-known political
cartoons are displayed. Moreover Het Markiezenhof offers a forum for international political
Cartoon festival
The Dutch Cartoon Festival takes place every two years. This festival is centred on a main
contemporary theme. The hundred best cartoons are on show in Het Markiezenhof.
Cartoonists from all over the world are invited to participate in this international contest. We
ensure the publicity and publish the cartoon book with the 100 best cartoons which are
exhibited in the museum.
Collection of international political cartoons
The museum plays a role in the recognition of political cartoons as valid artistic registration
of important political and social topics. Het Markiezenhof not only organizes exhibitions; it
also maintains a collection of international political cartoons from 1900 onwards and has
built up a large collection.
Temporary exhibition
CarTOENs, vijftig momenten uit de geschiedenis van Bergen op Zoom (50 moments out of
our town’s history)
The initial idea for this exhibition is the 800th anniversary of the city of Bergen op Zoom.
Cartoons are showing in a playful manner the history of the city.
In this exhibition, we work with the best political cartoonists of the Netherlands. There is
also a close cooperation with schools in the region, who are involved in this project
We have worked together with teachers, lectures and the foundation Pers & Prent. With this
exhibition we had the attention of different newspapers, they published an article about the
unique occasion. 
We have published a cartoon book, this book is sold through the bookshops of Bergen op
Zoom and the Tourist Office. In the booklet CarTOENs is a drawing of an 11 year old boy,
who’s dream is to become a real cartoonist one day. One of the participating artists is his
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
great example. The Exhibition CarTOENs attracts a wide audience, what makes it so
successful. The exhibition includes not only drawings of artists but also from pupils of
primary schools. By connecting the different groups, we hope to create a beautiful and
instructive exhibition. 
Connect through humor, history and contests
Connecting through cartoons success stories |
Exhibition Instant Kama, drawings and movies of Kamagurka During the summer of 2006 I organized in the Press Museum the exhibition Instant Kama,
showing drawings and movies of the most famous and multi-talented drawer of Belgium,
Kamagurka. Drawings and movies for NRC Handelsblad and Vrij Nederland, together with
movies for NRC-TV. In the week before the opening, Kama created on that occasion two
enormous paintings on the walls of the museum. The most recent drawings were not simply
presented on the wall, but were “drying” on a clothesline! So, enough ingredients for a
beautiful exhibition, but where was the real actuality that may not been lost of sight in a
Press Museum?!
During this time, 6 years ago now, Kama sent a fax with his drawing to the redaction of
NRC, every day round 12.30. A brainstorm brought us to the idea to fix such a fax on the
ceiling of the museum as a kind of “message machine” from the sky. At the same time,
while forwarding his drawing to the newspaper, this drawing came fluttering from the sky
into the museum. At the announced time a lot of visitors especially came to the museum
hoping to catch the drawing and so to be able to admire it four hours earlier than the
average NRC reader. Some were staying impatiently under the fax, in case it would have
lasted longer than expected.
Finally, one of the most successful exhibitions of the Press Museum and one of the most
challenging. I was also catching the drawing when there were not many visitors round this
Niels Beugeling
Connect through exhibitions, press and fresh ideas

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