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Story book of cartoon museums successes


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Success stories of Cartoon Museums around the world presented during the 4th Cartoon Museum Conference in Kruishoutem - Belgium

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Story book of cartoon museums successes

  1. 1. ContentsPreface ...................................................................................................................... 3I’ll bring the cake ....................................................................................................... 5With Atila and after Atila ............................................................................................. 6Azerbaijan Cartoon ..................................................................................................... 8Cartoon Program for TV ............................................................................................. 10An Educational Success Story - one of many ................................................................ 12Stories about getting connected: the Gabrovo Biennal .................................................. 13Hi Smiley Thought .................................................................................................... 16The International Forum of Visual Humour Karikaturum – the brand of Surgut City ........... 18The Story of Tabriz Cartoon Museum .......................................................................... 21Museum of Cartoon Art and Caricature in Warsaw ........................................................ 22Connecting through cartoons in Serbia ........................................................................ 24The Egyptian Caricature Museum ................................................................................ 27Once Upon a Toon… .................................................................................................. 30Humour as lever to the Museum work… ....................................................................... 34Cartoons and local history ......................................................................................... 35Exhibition Instant Kama, drawings and movies of Kamagurka ........................................ 37
  2. 2. 2Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  3. 3. PrefaceThe 4th Cartoon Museum Conference is all about ‘Connecting through Cartoons’.We di d ask the di fferent museums to share t heir personal su ccess stories about t he t heme‘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 withthe public or with cartoonists, or with the museum team, etc.All m useums se nt u s s tories a bout m oments that w ere significant, m eaningful, m utuallyempowering or particularly effective in terms of achieved results. Results that really madethem proud.Each story i s v ery different, b ut we a re sure t hat t hey a ll can b e v ery i nspiring t o a ll of u sand t hat it c an h elp t o b ring s ome m ore ‘ connectivity’ i n ou r c artoon museums a nd i n ou rcollaboration with each other.Enjoy reading it! 3 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  4. 4. 4Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  5. 5. I’ll bring the cakeIf you had already the occasion to read about the European Cartoon Center or you did heara presentation about it, you will know that one of the aims of the ECC is not to be a dullmuseum b ut t o b e a n a ctive c enter, a h ome for cartoonists a nd c artoon l overs. The ECCwants to be an op en org anization w here p eople really f eel a t h ome. This is o nly p ossiblethrough t he p eople wh o wo rk i n t he E CC. T he E CC i s c onducted b y a t eam o f at ab out 1 5people, all volunteers, from different ages, some of them where there from the beginning (in1979) of the Euro-Kartoenale, others came later. Every team member is giving the best heor she can, using his or her own talent, spending the time that is available at that moment.It s eems t hat w orking o n a v oluntary b asis i s a r ecipe f or a successful co nnection w ithothers. T he ECC-team is t here b ecause t hey l ike t o b e t here, t o h ave f un, t o b e a mongfriends, to work hard and to celebrate successes, to have some amazing internationalcontacts, to professionalize themselves … simply because they share a passion and a dreamfor the ECC. That results in a warm authentic welcome and a real interest in the cartoonistsand 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, wereally treat you all the same way. We like to prepare informal lunches and dinners for you,because t hese occasions, that r eally h elp t o c onnect w hich ea ch o ther, a re o ften m ore funthan 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 andothers whose names I do not remember but whose happy faces and hospitality I will never forget. They are men andwomen of every age and occupation that have embraced this effort, cartoonists themselves some of them and severaleven from nearby towns. They all work on a voluntary basis and they gain nothing more than the satisfaction ofcontributing to this project.When we contacted a historical research organization to do some research for us about thehistory of Belgian cartoons, we got this prompt reply: … it would be an honor to work with the ECC thatis known as a very warm organization.And w hen P ol L eurs c ame t o t he op ening c eremony of t he exhibition of R oss T homson, w edid a sk h im t o s tay f or the b arbeque t he next day. We g ot a mail back from his wife Gabywho s aid: ‘I’ll br ing the c ake!’. Sh e ma de a de licious red w ine c ake for d essert ( a f amilyrecipe), because the ECC-team is as family.So you see that connecting through cartoons is all about connecting people and hearts. Wereally h ope y ou c an e xperience t his f eeling d uring y our s tay i n K ruishoutem, t hat y ou w illfeel at home and that you become part of the big ECC-family. Connect through sharing passion and dream, to open your heart 5 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  6. 6. With Atila and after AtilaWhen I got married to Atila Ozer in 1975, I did not know anything about cartoons. We wereboth w orking. A t t he evening, h e w as c onducting re search on c artoons, reading b ooks a nddrawing 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. Intime, I also started to get interested in cartoons and I got to know some of the cartoonists. Idecided t o h elp h im d uring my free time after school. I became the secretary: copyingpaperwork, wrapping and ma iling the c artoons for competitions. During all those years wespent t ogether, w ere f illed with cartoons and n umerous f riends. We v isited m useums,attended ca rtoon m eetings, fe stivals and symposiums. I w as a lso t ied t o c artoons just likehim. We w ere b uying the n ewly released b ooks a nd were i mmediately examining them. Hewas 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 1 984 f or t he first t ime i n Turkish U niversities h e started t o t each the C artoon C lass a ndhe continued teaching this class till his death without any interruption.In 2001 he became a professor. We had a better and more comfortable workingenvironment.In 2002 he established the Cartoon Art Research Center, which was also first in his kind inTurkish Universities. In t he meantime, he also organized two international cartoon contestsas a first step towards establishing the cartoon museum that he was planning to open.In 2 004 h e op ened t he E skisehir C artoon M useum a s a p art of t he Cartoon A rt R esearchCenter. The m useum was l ike A tila’s ch ild. D uring t he r estorations, h e w as p resent a t t heconstruction si te o f t he b uilding, w hen h e d idn’t h ave classes. S ince i t t ook a w hile fo r t hestaff of the museum to start working, he opened and closed the museum himself and we didthe cleaning together. He put everything in the museum very carefully and paid attention toevery detail. He carried lots of b ooks, j ournals, a nd documents f rom our house t o themuseum. His friends and cartoonists welcomed his r equest w armly and donated severalbooks t o t he m useum. T his w as a n example of i ncredible t rust between f riends a ndcolleagues. Appr oximately 1 000 c artoons and 1200 books w ere collected i n a v ery shorttime. New st aff d id not h ave an y k nowledge about cartoon a rt. Whenever A tila saw acartoon misplaced or fell on the floor, he used to get really upset. That’s why we started tobuild up the archive on our own. I went to the university’s library to learn how to create anarchive. Atila designed an emblem for the museum. At the end of the first year we finishedarchiving the c artoons and recording the books that were d onated to the museum. M yvolunteer efforts outside of t he w orking h ours were n ot very welcome for t he u niversitiescommunity. W e e ven h eard u npleasant c omplaints a bout my v olunteer efforts. W e di d n otknow t hat wo rking wi thout e xpecting an ything was a m istake, and we we re b oth c onfusedand very sad. However, n one of t hese obstacles h ave diminished ou r p assion f or c artoons.Atila was a very calm, patient and faithful person. He never forgot the people who werededicated to cartoon art, he organized special events for them. In the meantime everythingwas settled i n t he m useum a nd the museum started t o run smoothly. At ila w as planning anew project. 6In 2009, in order to establish a Cartoon Museums Union, he organized the First InternationalCartoon M useum D irectors’ M eeting in E skisehir a nd de signed a logo f or t he me eting. Thiswas his fifth big project. He knew that the participation to this meeting would increase every Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  7. 7. year. Unfortunately, he couldn’t participate to any of the following meetings of this union heestablished. He passed away on April 23rd, 2011. A life which was full of cartoons between1973 and has ended in 2011.After h is d eath, o ver two an d a half months, I went t o t he museum as a volunteer just t ohelp p eople t here a nd answer a ny q uestions they m ight h ave. H owever, there we re ag aincomplaints about my presence there. Fortunately, there were nice developments outside themuseum. T he t hird C artoon M useum D irectors’ M eeting in Z emun, Serbia, organized a nInternational Atila Ozer Cartoon Portraits Exhibition and a book was published by the Mayorof Eskisehir T epebasi M unicipality Dr. Ah met Atac. Remembering A tila O zer E xhibition o fcartoonist Beytullah Heper, a cartoon contest among the high school students organized byEskisehir A rt A ssociation a nd myself, a nd with environment c artoons contest a mongstudents 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 pentpassionately on cartoons behind me . W hat c ould I do ? I de cided t o r edesign o ur h ouse i nwhich we lived with ou r c ats a s “ Prof. A tila O zer Cartoon House.” On A pril 2 3rd 2012, o neyear a fter A tila’s d eath, w e g ot t ogether w ith ca rtoonists, j ournalists a nd a rt l overs a ndannounced t he o pening o f t he ho use. M y ni ece, D eniz C il w ho i s in a P hD p rogram i n t heUnited St ates c arried o n t he c orrespondence. Everyone w ho k nows u s sa id t hat t his w as avery good idea and seeing Atila’s books, c artoons, drawings, we d id not k now t hat h e h adproduced this much work. I could not hang all the cartoons because we did not have enoughspace. This is a work of love and passion. I could not let his work stay in cabinets. Visitorsare coming and s itting in t he h ouse j ust like guests, t hey rest and I offer them somerefreshments. They look at the cartoons on the walls. But there is a lot of work to do. I willorganize the articles written about him, interviews, letters, poster and emblem designs. Ineed more time to organize all of these.What is important for me is to make people leave the Atila Ozer House with good and warmmemories.Vicdan Bulunmaz Ozer Connect through never ending love, passion and courage 7 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  8. 8. Azerbaijan CartoonThe ro ot of t he C artoon H istory of A zerbaijan t akes its p lace in v ery o ld times - XVI-XVIIcenturies. One would come across with the initial specimens of this art just in Azerbaijanminiatures o f t he M iddle A ges. T he f ormation o f t he c artoon a s a n i ndependent g enre i nAzerbaijan coincides with the end of XIX and the beginning of the XXth century. Today witha sense of pride I can say that “Molla Nasreddin” being the first and the only satiricmagazine known in the whole Muslim East, was published in 1906 only in Azerbaijan in thenative Azerbaijani language. It is no mere chance that more than 20 satirical magazines andnewspapers were published in 1906-1920 only in Baku city. This is considered to be a verybig indicator.The Azerbaijan cartoon having traditions in the democratic European and Russian cartoonschool was a bridge between the West and the East. The Azerbaijan cartoon meeting has thehighest requirements of that period and using traditions of the European cartoon school hastaken t he r esponsibility of passing t his kind of art t o n eighbouring co untries. The s cientistsand researchers of the world have got enough important and significant thoughts about therole o f t he Az erbaijan c omic gr aphics, c omic press a nd e specially t he ma gazine “ MollaNasreddin” in fo rmation a nd fu rther d iscovery o f t he c omic p ress o f p eoples o f Iran, t heMiddle East, the Crimea, Tataristan, the Caucasus and the peoples living along the Volga.The m agazine “ Molla N asreddin” w hich b rought t he c artoon s chool of E urope t o t he Eastagain restored its publication in Baku after the collapse of Czar Russia and establishingSoviet power in Azerbaijan. From 1922 to 1931 more than 300 issues of it came out. Duringthese y ears t he ch ief a rtist o f t he m agazine w as A zim A zimzadeh. T his w ell-known p ersonand great cartoon master almost from the first issue of the magazine – from 1906 to 1931 –closely cooperated with “Molla Nasreddin”.The h ouse w here Az im Az imzadeh w as bo rn, grew u p, l ived a nd c reated, turned i nto th emuseum after h is d eath. The memorial house set up to perpetuate this great artist’smemory was formed according to the order of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan Republicin 1968.Today t he a rtist’s 2 000 ex hibits a re p reserved i n t he f und o f t he memorial h ouse. T heartists’ works a re c onstantly d emonstrated i n the museum w hich is s ituated in a n area of200 m² and consists of 6 rooms. At the same time, exhibitions of Azerbaijan cartoonists, thefollowers of Azimzadeh school, are often organized in the museum. Every year about 3000people v isit t he m useum. M ajority o f t hem a re w orshipers of A zimzadeh’s creativity, t heguests of our country, young artists and students.On t he in itiative o f M inistry o f A zerbaijan C ulture a nd T ourism, B aku C ulture D epartment,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 thepresentations of newly published books, catalogues and albums are held in the museum.As y ou k now, i n 19 10 w e a nnounced t he International C artoon C ontest “ Molla N asreddin –Azerbaijan” o n t he occasion o f A .Azimzadeh’s 1 30th an niversary an d i t was h eldsuccessfully. W e p ublished a book of 1 80 pa ges th at w ould be a ble t o shed a light on 8A.Azimzadeh’s c reativity a nd we sent i t to m ore th an 3 00 a rtists a nd p articipants o f th eContest a s a pr esent. T he o pening c eremony of Az im A zimzadeh’s mo nument w as h eld inthe 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 isconsidered to be our respect and esteem to Azimzadeh’s spirit. Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  9. 9. The M inister of A zerbaijan C ulture a nd T ourism M r.Abulfaz Qarayev h as r ecently s igned a norder in connection with the fundamental repairing of Azim Azimzadeh memorial house.Surely, a s a r esult o f a ttention g iven a nd c are t aken b y t he s tate, t he m useum will berestored a nd its ma terial a nd t echnical ba sis will b e provided w ith new modern equipment.And t his w ill g ive a p ush t o t he i ncreasing amount of activities and op portunities of t hemuseum.Surely, t hese a nd t hese k ind o f ex amples a re s triking ex amples o f t he st ate’s ca re for i tscartoonists, his productive activity and creativity and the love of the people. I consider thattoday t here i s A zim A zimzadeh’s sh are i n e ach su ccess, v ictory and a chievement o fAzerbaijani cartoonist.Today t he i ndependent a ctivity of t he C artoonists U nion in A zerbaijan, t he c reation of “ TheCartoon” s ection i n A zerbaijan A rtists’ U nion, t he t eaching of t he s ubject “ The C artoonHistory” at Azerbaijan State Culture and Art University, various satirical magazines publishedin the R epublic a nd the re cent f oundation of A zerbaijan C artoon C entre, c ertainly, s erve t oget the cartoon genre known and to promote it.It i s j ust t he cartoon w hich m akes u s closer t o each other, l inks o ur fates a nd t he endlesslove and affection towards the cartoon. As a result of this cooperation and friendship thecartoon g ets m ore k nown a nd better developped. T he c hiefs o f cartoon m useums a reresponsible 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 andtechnical b asis o f t he ca rtoon m useums, ca rtoon h ouses a nd ce ntres to b e m uch st ronger.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 ofsponsors giving money for realization of new projects. But I am sure that if there is none ofthem, w e w ill be f aithful t o o ur w ork a nd speciality a nd s erve t he cartoon passionately. Ibelieve that the endless love and affection towards the cartoon is the only factor which givesus strengh and motivation.I think that each of us can cope with all problems in this work which we love most of all andwill have enough strength to solve these problems coming across our path. This strength isconsidered to be in our unity and love for the cartoon.The President of Azerbaijan Cartoonists’ Union,The Representative of Azim Azimzadeh Memorial HouseBayram Hajızadeh Connect through history, bridges and development 9 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  10. 10. Cartoon Program for TVJanuary, 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 nEskişehir… When t he r esponsibility o f t he du ty c ombines with many projects and ideas foractivities in m y m ind, t hey form a si p o f w orry a nd a p iece of excitement fo r m e. Lots ofthings 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 thefirst project should be “a T.V. program for cartoon lectures”.This p roject a ims t o c reate a “ cartoon l ecture p rogram” w hich s hall be b roadcasted d uringone s eason i n T RT O kul ( a c hannel t hat h ad b een f ormed b y Turkish R adio and T elevisionCorporation (TRT) and Anadolu University) in order to take an interest in cartoon art and toteach 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 startsto ring. I already realize that the project I intend to form is not the hardest te st t oaccomplish in the w orld. B ut it is m y f irst t est a s a manager so i t mu st be do ne in asuccessful manner. As I start to think how this program could take an interest on cartoon artand c ould p rovide a s tarting point in ord er t o ra ise m any c artoonists’ a ttention, I b ecomemore convinced that the choice of the cartoonist for the program is really importantBack to the phone, I was surprised w hen I s aw the n umber on t he s creen. S omeone i scalling from abroad. When I answered the phone with a bit of curiosity I heard the friendlyand 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 Conferenceperformed in Anadolu University, Museum of Cartoon Art. Although I had no official relationwith t he m useum t hose d ays, m y fa mily a nd I fo rmed a n ice fr iendship w ith t his lovelyfamily (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 forthe 2nd Cartoon Museum Conference. Mr. Rahim and his team welcomed me and the othermuseum managers in a very sincere and friendly manner and hosted us.January, 2012 (Eskişehir, a few days later)I h ear t he f riendly a nd k ind v oice t hat sa ys “ This is R ahim B aggal A sghari, f rom T abriz”.After congratulating me for being manager he says that he wishes to support me for myupcoming projects and shall be glad to share his experiences in cartoon art via aneducational organization. After this, I suddenly realize that all my troubles disappear thatmoment. Indeed, Mr. Rahim is such an appropriate cartoonist for the project we have been 10planning. “Immediately” I say to him “we should realize this project. Please inform me aboutyour possibly early arrival schedule.” Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  11. 11. March, 2012 (Eskişehir)It w as 1 9 March, 2 012 when I w elcomed Mr. R ahim in İstanbul and we came to Eskişehir.Shooting t he p rogram took 3 d ays w ithout i nterruption a nd pl anned t o be screened i n T RTOkul in Autumn Season in 2012. We constituted a class atmosphere in the studio with someof t he A nadolu 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 tothe lecturers beyond the TV screen.After t he c ompletion o f s hooting, t he t eam w as e xhausted bu t pl eased. E ven t he pr ogramteam ( director, di rector of ph otography, sound mi xer a nd li ghtner) stated th at th ey g ainedan interest on cartoon art and wish to watch the program on TV, by drawing the cartoon atthe s ame t ime. A s u nderstood, t he p rogram already started to get favorable results evenbefore the screen date.Before Mr. Rahim turned back t o T abriz, w e t ell ea ch o ther h ow m uch w e en joyed t o b e apart of t his org anization a nd s tart t o m ake p lans f or f uture p rojects. W hile leaving, w e a reabsolutely sure that we have the same feelings: The Cartoon Museum Conference was achance f or u s t o meet and this chance already turned into a productive organization forcartoon art.My first organization as a manager was something that I felt fully satisfied about. I’m proudwhen I t hink h ow m any p eople t his p rogram could re ach a nd could f orm a n i nterest f orcartoon art. I’m looking forward to watch this program on TV in Autumn Season, 2012.Sadettin AYGUN Connect through media, friendship and education 11 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  12. 12. An Educational Success Story - one of manyFrom Sands to ComicsAbout two years after it opened, the Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon undertook to connectwith on e of t he l ocal education system’s challenging p rograms: “Know Your City”. This wasdone 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 thecity in which it resides – Holon. The result – a graphic novel for children aged 8-10 entitledFrom 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 thinkingas its main core components, has developed four programs designed for the local educationsystem: • 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 citywho is acquainted with its history and has written three books on the subject. Once we hadthe raw material, archived photographs, and five stories describing the establishment of thefive neighborhoods that were later unified to form the city, we approached a highly regardedcomics creator and native of the city, Dorit Maya Gur, and asked her to turn the texts into agraphic novel.Three months later we received the illustrated pages, and realized that we were nowcommitted to turning comics into part of the city’s educational program. We added some ofthe 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 for4th a nd 5t h gr ade s tudents, a nd t wo y ears a go, with gr eat excitement, w e pr esented th ebook and t he p rogram to t he mu nicipality’s E ducation Adm inistration. Q uite u nexpectedly,the Administration adopted the program, and the following September 1,500 of the city’sstudents a ttended a se ries o f t hree e ncounters a t t he M useum a nd p articipated i n t ours o fthe 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 participatedin it are acquainted with the city, continue to explore it, and occasionally come back to theMuseum to bring us their drawings and learn something new.Galit GaonChief Curator 12Design Museum, Cartoon Museum, HOLON Connect through history, education environment Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  13. 13. Stories about getting connected: the Gabrovo BiennalOur 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). TheWest is satanized and capitalism, featured as a rapacious monster, is inevitably labeled as‘rotten’.Under t he c ircumstances of p olitical c onfrontation, on A pril 1 st, 1 972 t he H ouse o f H umourand Sa tire w as br ought in to t he w orld on t he local initiative of a small provincial B ulgariantown – 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 intown 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 adoutstripped the time he was born in and who enjoyed the support of like-minded people andthe then town’s mayor arch. Karl Kandulkov. Fartonov managed to persuade the CommunistParty leaders in Gabrovo to launch an event under the heading International Bi ennial o fCartoon a nd Sma ll Sa tirical Sc ulpture. At t he t ime t here w ere b ut t hree o r f our c artooncompetitions in the world: Montreal, B ordighera, Knokke-Heist. T heir co nception w as soappealing that it even beat the party members’ fear and risk that a similar event should beinferred a s a n in strument o f f oreign influence. F ollowing a s election, t he F irst B iennial in1973 s howcased 3 48 a rtists from 32 n ationalities a nd t heir 46 4 w orks. How t he o rganizerssucceeded i n a chieving t hat is a q uestion w e are still w ondering a bout – all t hat with noInternet, 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 nobuilding of its own) at the time: Petko Andreev, chief expert in Fine Arts; Veselin Vasilev (aneconomist), ch ief e xpert in Cartoons and Zhulieta Meteva (a tourism graduate) who had anatural be nt f or l anguages. T he mo tto The W orld La sts B ecause I t La ughs was in f act K arlMarx’s thought “Laughing, mankind bids farewell to its past” paraphrased i n a li ne byBulgarian poet and satirist Radoy Ralin. The First International Biennal laid the groundworkfor a p ermanent exhibition Humour of t he Peoples whereas t he p articipation of artists from32 c ountries w as t he m ost p owerful b ackup f or t he establishment of t he H ouse of H umourand Satire and its development into a unique meeting ground for both artists and fansseparated by the Iron Curtain.In this sense, the history of the Biennial is a veritable record of connecting – mindsand id eas - and m ovement i nto t he f uture; o f b reaking o ld stereotypes (p oliticaland s ocial a like); o f overcoming t he fear of e ncountering t he other, t he u nknownones from the West. As to the citizens of Gabrovo and its visitors, it was an event unheardof and unseen!The Biennial has had its permanent premises – the House of Humour and Satire – since1975. The formal opening of the building was honored by the very first man in the country –Communist P arty l eader a nd h ead of state T odor Z hivkov h imself; h is da ughter L yudmilaZhivkova, chairperson of the Committee on Culture at the time, brought the cultural elite ofBulgaria along with the Diplomatic Corps to attend the Second Biennial and walk around theHouse.Gabrovo turned into a Mecca of humour where artists from the East and the West could 13meet f ace t o f ace. T he s cope o f t he B iennial broadened c onsiderably w ith t he inclusion o ffour 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 |
  14. 14. paintings, scu lpture, p hotographs and posters under a s ingle h eading. T he d evelopmentstrategy of the House of Humour and Satire (worked out by the museum specialists andsome e xperts i n t he M inistry of C ulture) l aid down t hat ex tensive c ollection a nd r esearchwork s hould be do ne i n a ll k inds a nd ge nres of h umour a rt. T hus, we t hrew a b ridge a ndconnected v isual w ith performing a rts e mploying h umour ( cinema, t heatre, c lownery), a swell as w ith humoristic literature. T he r esult was t he o pening o f a n Experimental S atiricalTheatre; t he la unching o f a n International F ilm C omedy Fe stival, o f a N ational M eeting o fJoke- and S torytellers, e tc. In a s ocialist country t hose were u nheard-or undreamt-phenomena!My fi rst m emories g o b ack t o 1 974 w hen I s tarted w orking a t the House of Humour a ndSatire. I t was t he mo st a ppealing a nd e xciting pl ace f or a y oung u niversity gr aduate tolaunch a ca reer, b ecause the museum offered a d irect a ccess t o i nformation, freedom ofdeveloping d ifferent d epartments c entered on particular g enres of h umour art, theopportunity o f establishing contacts through correspondence with artists and institutionsfrom a ll ov er t he w orld, the opportunity o f me eting a nd e xchanging ideas a nd e xperienceswith people as diverse as the world itself. In 1980 there were more than 100 of us employedin the H ouse – young, e ducated, w ith a go od s ense o f h umour, a dequately t rained a ndaspiring to ma ke p rogress a long w ith t he i nstitution. W ho h as n ot l ived t hrough s ocialismwould hardly understand us. Through the House and the Biennial we made our boldestdreams c ome t rue – dreams a bout “ getting connected” with a rtists fr om 1 73 co untriesin the world; dreams about overcoming the retrograde stumbling blocks of politicalconfrontation. 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 turnedpublic!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! G ive e mployees f reedom to f ulfill t heir po tential a nd y ou w ill be a stonished by the r esults. E mployees should be a ble t o ma ke pr ogress a longside t he a dvancement of the institution. Every job is of consequence, so respect it and require respect back. T he art of a l eader i s to build up effectively working teams able to stand up to competition. Not the least important is the assessment of the public.- Against all s ocial a nd political c hanges, a lternating g overnments, financial a nd 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 f rom 1 73 c ountries h ave t aken p art i n a ll t he 2 0 e ditions o f t he I nternational 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: 14In 1996 and 1999 the I nternational C artoon C ompetition Fun-Loving Balkans linked 150artists f rom t he B alkan c ountries w ith c artoon l overs i n B ulgaria at t he h eight o f a ragingwar close to the Bulgarian border; Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  15. 15. In 1998 the H ouse of Humour a nd S atire h eld a N ational C artoon C ompetition under t heheading Europe Dreams of Bulgaria which was funded by the Delegation of the EuropeanCommission t o S ofia. ( At t he t ime n o one i n Europe would ever wan t t o h ear o f Bu lgaria!)The c ompetition a nd e nsuing e xhibition, w hich t oured a num ber o f Balkan a nd E uropeancountries, bonded 71 Bulgarian cartoonists with European citizens of all stripes;In 2006 and 2008 the East-West European Encounters o f H umour Art b rought t ogetherartists from both member- and non-member states of the EU, for we are convinced thatneither 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’sgreat European idea. Thus in 2008 we successfully brought off the project Smile at YourNeighbor. It involved 8 humour artists from 7 European countries who were invited to makedrawings in the open; to show a small selection of works in a group exhibition; to join around-table discussion on i ntercultural d ialogue a nd the rol e of humour in r ising abovedifferences; t o t aste t ypical national d ishes co oked b y y oung ch efs; t o a ppreciate G abrovodancers performing diverse ethnic dances, etc. The event was held within the framework ofa m ajor n ational p roject i mplemented b y t he M inistry of C ulture of B ulgaria a nd funded bythe EU.In 2009 (two y ears after Bulgaria’s accession to the EU) Eurosapiens National C artoonCompetition w as y et a nother opportunity f or Bulgarian c artoonists t o c ross swords. T hecompetition was funded b y Mr. N ickolay M ladenov ( former MEP a nd current M inister ofForeign Affairs of Bulgaria). The exhibition opening and prize-awarding ceremony took placeat t he E uropean P arliament i n B russels on A pril 1 st – the b irthday o f t he H ouse of Humourand S atire. It was a r emarkable s tory an d an example o f f orging b onds: t he initiative w astaken b y t he p oliticians; t he o rganization w as e ntirely h andled b y t he M useum HOUSE OFHUMOUR A ND S ATIRE; t he sh arp sa tirical pens a nd m asterly b rushes of t he a rtistsproclaimed, pricked like thorns, castigated, ridiculed and triumphed!No, our stories about ‘getting connected’ do not end here…Chief Assistant TATYANA TSANKOVADirectorMuseum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIREConnect through European unity, history and a look on the future, the need forhumour 15 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  16. 16. Hi Smiley ThoughtI guess in the world, and as far as I know in my country, some kids and teenagers want todraw c artoons. S ome o f t hem k now th eir c apabilities a nd t alent, some d o n ot. W here c anthey go and who can they consult to draw? And again I guess in the world, and I know in mycountry t here w ere a rtists w ho were forgotten. There w as a n eed f or a p lace w here p eoplecould remember them. I knew that there were a lot of people who were waiting to visit thesekind of places.Milas was the place where the famous cartoonist Turhan Selcuk was born. Milas was the cityof d ifferent ci vilizations. P eople i n M ilas w ere true a rt l overs. In sh ort, i t w as t he p lace Ialways wanted.I s hared m y th oughts w ith th e M ayor o f M ilas, M uhammet T okat. A nd w e s tarted to thinktogether. W e established a committee. A recently restored h ouse b ecame ‘the p lace’ and i twas named “MILAS TURHAN SELCUK HOUSE WITH CARTOONS”.What is in that “place”?Free cartoon workshopsA section reserved for Turhan Selcuk (exhibition, personal items, and documentary display)Meetings with famous cartoonists, workshops, and periodical exhibitionsTalksNational and international cartoon contestsCartoon and Humor LibraryNow, i n t hat “ place” k ids an d t eenagers f rom Milas ar e d rawing c artoons, a nd t hey d o n otwant a grim-faced world.Their parents are smiling.People of Milas are smiling.Visitors are m eeting w ith t he cartoons of Turhan S elcuk and are learning the world he wasdreaming of.People of Milas are sending their smiles to our “WORLD”.With my warmest smile,Kamil MasaraciCartoonist 16 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  17. 17. Let me get back to my success story. My personal achievement is to be the wife of thecartoon master Turhan Selcuk for 20 years. I do not have any talent in drawing cartoon butI’m a very good cartoon reader. I’m actually a chemistry engineer. I do not know if there isany 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 oungergenerations and contribute to the improvement of cartoon art as a universal mode ofcommunication. Turhan Selcuk enlightened the era he lived in. His legacy and works will liveforever.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 oftime, 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.Best,Ruhan Selcuk. Connect through workshops, contests and smiles 17 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  18. 18. The International Forum of Visual HumourKarikaturum – the brand of Surgut CityMy congratulations! Four stars is real recognition!What is it based on? On regularity, seriousness and quality of works selected for catalogues, and impartialassessment 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 seethat these stars are the guarantee of the organizers’ integrity and quality of the works’ assessment. In short, WELLDONE!!! My congratulations! extract from the letter by Vladimir Stepanov, cartoonist and jury member of multiple cartoon contests.Organization o f international c ontests e nables m useums t o e stablish m ultiple p artnershipcontacts i n y our c ountry a nd a round t he w orld a nd t o i ntegrate i nto t he i nternational a rtcommunity. Having established the International Forum of Visual Humour ‘KARIKATURUM’ in2001, Surgut gained new opportunities to establish cultural cooperation with almost any cityin the world.At the start, this project was perceived as risky, daring and doomed to fail. Surgut is locatedat a distance of 3000 km from the centre of Russia. Even some Russian people still believethat brown bears wearing valenki roam our streets (why valenki of all things? they are quitewarm h ere w ithout a ny f ootwear) a nd I shudder t o t hink w hat f oreigners m ight t hink o fSurgut. A lso, t here i s t he perception that there is nothing but oil and gas (I wonder whoextracts t his b lack go ld? be ars?). In 20 11 Su rgut h eld th e w ell-deserved f irst p lace i n t henational rating of the most comfortable cities, conducted by the Union of Architects ofRussia.The idea t o i mplement t his p roject i n S urgut w as r ather s pontaneous. T he m eeting w ithNovosibirsk artist Vladimir Stepanov in 2001 was a twist of destiny. A crazy wish to launch anew cartoon contest that was international too, was born in his workshop. Done! For the firstKARIKATURUM we sent o ut o ver 2 ,000 i nvitations, w e only h ad to w ait f or th e artists’‘replies’. We gained our first small victory here because we stated the jury members’ namesin the terms of the contest. After we received over 1,000 replies from all over the world, thescale of t he ‘anticipated results’ su rprised even K ARIKATURUM’s parents. It t ook a year f orthe a dventurous i dea t o b ecome fully realized and the title KARIKATURUM to be associatedwith 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 ofnominations, with the possibility not only to change the theme but nominations and jury. Itis t raditionally co mposed o f famous ca rtoonists a nd ca rtoon experts a s w ell. We ha ve$11,500 pr ize mo ney and n umerous s pecial pr izes. Each odd y ear we a nnounce a n ewtheme and nominations and the jury chooses the winners; each even year the main eventsof the Forum – the awards ceremony and the best works exhibitions – are held. The formatof the exhibition a nd the publishing o f r esults a re n ot f ixed either. T here a re stationarymuseum exhibitions, movable exhibitions in different cities of Russia and abroad, “open air 18exhibitions” d uring c ity f estivals, “ exhibitions on w heels”, “ window e xhibitions” an d “ CITY-format e xhibitions” on t raditional a dvertisement b anners. T oday w e c an e asily s ay t hat t heproject, experimental in its nature, has become a landmark of our museum and the brand ofSurgut. Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  19. 19. Surgut F ine A rts M useum i s no t a “ purely” cartoon m useum. It e xhibits a rcheologicalcollections of I-XVI centuries, Russian Art collections of XIX - XXI centuries, Siberian Artcollection and more. The fact that contest works sent for KARIKATURUM remain the propertyof the museum has enabled us to gather a unique collection of ironic art. The collection nownumbers about 600 0 i tems a nd i ncludes c artoons, ph otos, s mall s culptures a nd a uthor’sdolls. In 2011 the museum conducted an international survey, the purpose of which was todetermine t he best ca rtoonist n ationally a nd internationally. W e se t a g oal t o a ssess t helevel of ou r c ollection. A s a re sult of t his s urvey, w e f ound t hat t he level of ou r i ronic a rtcollection is ra ther h igh; t he m useum ow ns t he o riginal w orks of 1 036 c artoonists f rom 69countries. I a m n ot g oing t o list t hem h ere i n order n ot t o f orget a nyone a nd of fend t hemwith m y f orgetfulness. 6 c atalogues o f t he International F orum of V isual H umourKARIKATURUM, w here th e be st o f t he b est w ere pr esented, w ere dis tributed a round t heworld.Thanks t o t he F orum w e h ave another i nteresting c ollection in ou r museum “ TheImpressions of Surgut”, it is composed of cartoon-impressions drawn by the cartoonists whovisited Surgut. Over 70 venerable cartoonists, photographers and sculptors from around theworld v isited Su rgut t o pa rticipate i n a wards a nd o pening c eremonies. In 200 6 a notherunusual monument “Monument to Smile” appeared in Surgut. In front of the MuseumCentre, e rected on a pe destal, t here i s a g igantic laughing f ish w ith a me rmaid w earing aRussian ushanka – the symbol of KARIKTURUM - on its back. I don’t think that any cartooncontest can afford to immortalize itself in b ronze. T he s culpture w as c reated f or S urgut b yOleg Dergachev (Canada). The monument is especially popular among the just married; it’sa popular venue for w edding processions. The fish’s palms are polished to a shine b ecausefew visitors can resist touching its “calloused hands”. They say it brings luck.The f ormat o f t his e dition do es n ot ma ke i t p ossible t o t ell y ou a bout a ll K ARIKATURUMprojects. That’s w hy I will o nly br iefly de scribe t he K ARIKATURUM 5 Ju bilee Fe stival. Th echoosing of KARIKATURUM exhibition titles was an interesting task. Each project was givenits 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 n ext exhibit pr oject K ARIKATURUM: H EALTHY JUB ILEE was an ef fective r emedy f orberiberi. 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 Apr il, 1 t he a rt mu seum a nd t wo t ransportation c ompanies l aunched K ARIKATURUM:MOBILE JUBILEE. Cartoon exhibitions were held on bus lanes № 1,2,3,4. The numbers ofbus lanes correspond to 4 past International Forums of Visual Humour KARIKATURUM.The airport opened its aerial gate for KARIKATURUM: FLYING JUBILEE where the “Surgut isthe 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 19the State University Square. The exhibition that is traditionally held on Independence Daywas designed as exhibition rooms “on wheels” i.e. city buses bedecked with cartoons insideand o utside. T he exhibition w as a ccompanied by w orkshops, ma ster-classes, contests a ndquizzes. KARIKATURUM’s mascot Mikha the teddy bear, a regular participant of all Forum Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  20. 20. events, b ecame t he real g em o f t he h oliday. T he ex hibition o f i ce s culptures “ Irony i n 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 20 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  21. 21. The Story of Tabriz Cartoon MuseumWe had been exiled. If I want to speak outside of the usual pleasantries, I must say we hadbeen e xiled from an art complex i n a good neighborhood where w e h ad a thriving office tothe offenders` area. This historic building was located in the middle of a park where womencould n ot c ome a nd go w ith s ecurity a nd pe ace of mind. It was a dilapidated building andhad been conquered by addicts. Either I should close Tabriz Cartoon Association or achieveda success from heart of this failure.So when we went to see the dilapidated building with the art director for the first time, I feltas if I were walking in a big museum and undoubtedly these imaginations created beautifulimages in my m ind. I c alled t he y oung me mbers a nd w anted t hem t o h elp e stablish acartoon museum in the east of the world and in Iran for the first time. Art directors did notprevent our activities and we began to work quickly. Since a few years ago the building wasused as the national library, we could find several great and heavy book shelves. We pushedthem with help of 20 people and put the old shelves as a wall in the middle of hall. I wantedthe young members whose academic course was to make a concrete sculpture and I beganworking with cement a nd b ricks w ith them. T hen one of t he m embers w ho knew carpentrypartitioned of f t he h all b y w ooden w alls. Of course, l ater on w e r educed t he n umber ofpartitions. 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 notsculptor, the statue became a little short. The older members brought lunch for us and I sawthe girls were washing the windows which had not been washed for years.In t hose d ays, we w ere h olding t he 6 th i nternational f estival o f T abriz an d I wa nted theaward c eremony t o b e held in t he m useum a nd i ts g reat h all. W orkers w ere p lastering t hewalls. Each of the hundred members was busy in doing something. Rashid Yakali deputy ofTurkey ca rtoonists a ssociation t hat w as a guest i n Tabriz f or 6 th f estival s aid with w orries:"Museum building works are not finished until the day of closing ceremony"… and he heardthe answer: "Will be finished…" Guests were arriving from other cities but the buildingworks h ad n ot still be en c ompleted. H owever, w e pe rformed t asks more qu ickly. Fr iendsfrom the art department came to help us. We were engaged in a real struggle. I said to myfriends I will hold so much exhibitions and festivals in this neighborhood that thesurrounding area is also affected.Gradually, women were seen in this park. They came to museum every day andenvironment was improved little by little. In the opening day of the museum the works werecompleted i n the l ast seconds. Telephone w ires w ere connected, the entrance hall wasinstalled, p avement was r epaired an d c hairs were ar ranged. W e h ad about 5 00 g uests an dthe museum opened with the enthusiasm of people and efforts of Tabriz Cartoon Associationmembers. At n ight, I c ould n ot s leep du e t o p ain in my f eet. I go t s ick a w eek bu t i t w assomething like a light grove in my heart …. Now s ix y ears h ave p assed s ince t hat d ay andthe museum ha s f ound i ts w ay b ut w e n ever f orget t hose d ays t hat ex isted w ith love a ndinterest.Rahim Baghal Asghari Baghmishe 21 Connect through hard work, social care and companionship Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  22. 22. Museum of Cartoon Art and Caricature in WarsawA year has passed since I took up the direction of the Museum of Cartoon Art and Caricaturein Warsaw. It’s been a year abounding in unforgettable experiences and in important artisticevents. I h ave s taged f ive t emporary e xhibitions a nd t wo c artoon c ompetitions: on einternational d edicated to th e t opic of f ootball, a nd t he ot her – for t he “ cartoon of t hemonth”, d irected t o P olish c artoonists. E arly n ext y ear w e a re m ounting a n e xhibitionfeaturing t he “ cartoons o f t he year”, d uring w hich w e w ill p resent all t he a warded a ndrecommended works and grant the award for the year 2012.Our c ompetition e ntitled “ The B all is in P lay” ha d m ore t han a t housand a nd t wo hu ndredentries, three hundred of which qualified for the final stage. An exhibition showing selectedcompetition works is presently on view in our Museum. It was running during the 2012 UEFAEuropean F ootball C hampionship, a ttracting s teady i nterest, a nd w ill c ontinue f or t he n exttwo months until September 2012.The h ardest exhibition t o o rganize w as t he one that opened i n o ur M useum i n M arch t hisyear, d ocumenting a t ragic c hapter in o ur h istory. T he exhibition, e ntitled “ Warsaw 1 939-1944 - Underground S atire a nd th e R ealities of O ccupation in th e W orks o f P olish G raphicArtists,” comprised more than a hundred works by artists who used their drawings as aweapon ag ainst t he G erman i nvader. I n t he German-occupied W arsaw, sa tirical ca rtoonsraised the spirits of the oppressed nation. The works created in that period were simple andfast, a nd t hey h armed the en emy a s effectively a s t he m ost a ccurate o f w eapons. T hosecartoons, along with popular rhymes, street jokes and songs, have now become symbols ofresistance and of the indomitable spirit. Produced on such a scale, they were a uniquephenomenon i n t he h istory o f Europe. W e p resented d rawings w hich r idiculed t he G ermanoccupying forces, as well as caricatures of the Führer of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler and hisItalian a lly, B enito M ussolini. O ther c artoons a t t he exhibition s how t he G erman n ation a svictims of the Nazi regime.One s ection o f t he e xhibition w as en titled “ The P resence of t he Polish Underground S tate”.The whole event documented the existence in our country of a phenomenon unknown in allthe ot her p arts of o ccupied E urope – namely, an o rganized u nderground s tate s tructure,continuing the activity of a state occupied and yet unconquered. In this particular section ofthe exhibition, we wished to illustrate two crucial functions of underground satire, related toits influence o n t he mo ods a nd a ttitudes of t he P olish s ociety: t hrough s atire, t he P olishSecret State demonstrated its ongoing activity and called upon the people to resist theoccupation actively.Another section w as de dicated t o th e li ving c onditions i n o ccupied W arsaw. It o pened w ithdrawings 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 w atercolors o f t he Je wish d istrict, p ainted in 1 942 b y a t eenage g irl - TeofilaLangnas – depict t he horror of t he W arsaw Ghetto. T his s ection of t he exhibition w ascomplemented by drawings of the terror that reigned supreme in the city, culminating in themass public street executions that came i n the autumn of 1943 and continued t hrough t hefirst months of the following year. 22We a lso s howed extremely ra re c opies of u nderground s atirical a nd c omic m agazines.According to e xpert e stimates, h alf o f t he 1 6 u nderground pe riodicals a ppearing in P olandunder the occupation were published in Warsaw. Visitors had the opportunity to see several Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  23. 23. issues o f t hose bulletins, as w ell as r eproduced mastheads and t itle pages of others whoseoriginals we have not been able to obtain. Significantly, satirical drawings were also printedby u nderground n ewspapers, p olitical a nd so cio-cultural titles; most frequently – in t hemagazine entitled The Democrat.The satirical magazines printed by the underground state in Warsaw also included thoseused du ring t he “ Operation N ”, a iming t o spread de featism i n t he en emy ranks b yaddressing G ermans i n a l anguage w hich they c ould und erstand. O f s pecial interest i n t hiscategory i s th e Klabautermann, de signed g raphically b y t he e minent P olish g raphic a rtistStanisław 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 themthat the Allies stood no chance of winning the war and Poland could not dream of regainingindependence. T he a ctivity o f t he u nderground, h owever, di sproved this pr opaganda. T hechief 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 onthe faces of the subjugated people when they saw the words “Deutschland kaput” on a wa llor 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 theThird 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 esupplemented the exhibition with historical photographs from that time. We showed Warsawinhabitants hanged by the Germans from a balcony in the city centre and on speciallyconstructed g allows on t he outskirts; ol d J ews driven t o places of h ard l abor, and theomnipresent Germans terrorizing the streets of Warsaw. The presentation was accompaniedby a soundtrack with the sound of street fighting, fragments of street songs from that crueltime, sounds of life in the occupied city, where shooting and executions were everydayreality.The exhibition was visited both by young people – for whom those events are history – andby those who took part in the struggle with the invaders, by witnesses of the war. Manypeople c ontributed t heir h earts, knowledge and t alents t o t hat i mportant and extraordinaryevent: a marriage of art and history.Zygmunt Zaradkiewicz Connect through history, resistance and human bravery 23 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  24. 24. Connecting through cartoons in SerbiaCartoons w ere v ery mi ghty me ans i n c ommunication t hroughout the complete h istory ofmankind. Striking examples of that we can f ind from pharaohs in Egypt or the Romanempire until today, with the increasing importance a s w e approach t he p resent. And, as itcould be predicted, the importance of cartoons in communication between the people will bemore and more important in the future.Just one example: from the beginning of the last decade of 20 th century, coincided with theturbulent times in ex-Yugoslavia and in Serbia, the importance of the cartoons innewspapers was growing, especially before the elections. The sharpest critic of the regime inSerbia, f amous c artoonist C orax, w as s o p opular t hat on t he h uge s treet d emonstrationsagainst the regime in 1996 among other signs was one with the message “Corax forpresident”. Corax himself was among the demonstrators, so a lot of people were able to talkwith him and to discuss his cartoons which, in those very hard and hopeless times forordinary people, were almost a medicine.From the other side, public very rarely has the occasion to meet cartoonists and to talk withthem. The writers are in a better position: on the literary evenings and the presentations oftheir b ooks t he p ublic can d iscuss with them, e ven n ot only a bout t he b ook, b ut a lso onother subjects. Cartoonists (as well as painters or sculptors) only meet their pu blic onexhibitions, 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 otherneeds, 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 nterestingmeetings w hich g athered a l ot o f p eople, w ho d iscussed d ifferent t hemes w ith ca rtoonists.The m ost i nteresting of t hose m eetings was on e arranged regarding a b ook “Zemun schoolof cartooning”, h eld i n 1996 i n a b ig y ard of a r estaurant. It w as p resented o ver 4 00 v eryinterested p eople, a s well a s 1 3 Z emun ca rtoonists o f d ifferent g enerations a nd d ifferentartistic stiles, and the event lasted over two hours.Zemun cartoon museum, as we said previously, has no adequate space, so our contacts withpublic are rare and limited only on exhibitions in different galleries. Of course, we are openfor all who need information, for example for the students of fine art. Some of them askedcertain m aterial o r i nformation an d in that c ase m useum l ibrary o r ar chive are av ailable t othem. Also, we collaborated with some cartoon theoretic from Serbia and abroad, as well aswith so me ca rtoon l overs w hich a sked fo r s ome copies o f t heir fa vorite ca rtoons. B utgenerally, 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 whereBojana an d I o ften d rop, c ame i n t he mu seum a nd a sked me : “Do you know cartoonistApicella?”. I was really surprised: Enzo Apicella in Italy is only known by readers o f thecommunist newspaper “Liberazione”, where he publishes his cartoons and in England, wherehe lives, also few people heard about him but… the fact that pub owner in Zemun knows himwas almost a miracle. Well, I know a lot about Apicella because I organized his personalexhibition in Zemun in 2000 and he was our guest for several days. I told that to my 24acquaintance and then asked hi m how he knows Api cella. He explained me that he workedfor some time in London as a barman in a pub where Apicella often dropped, but he was stillabroad in 2000 and never heard about Apicella`s exhibition in Zemun. After all, I gave tothe pub owner Api cella`s portfolio w ith a lot of h is c artoons – the artist g ave h is c omplete Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  25. 25. exhibition to Zemun museum as a gift – and my acquaintance spent almost an hour lookingthem and discussing with me and talking me some witty stories from London connectingwith Enzo Apicella.Much m ore co ntacts a re connecting Z emun c artoon m useum with ca rtoonists. I n S erbiathere are around 200 cartoonists and most of them have very close contacts with us. Theysend us their books, albums and catalogs from the exhibitions, even some cartoons for themuseum collection. On the other side, some Serbian cartoonists asked us from time to timeto borrow them their cartoons which are in the museum collection for their retrospectiveexhibitions. So, the contacts and the connecting is mainly professional, but with a couple ofSerbian cartoonists w e have also very close friendly relations and they are always ready tohelp us in different projects.After t he d ead of several w ell k nown ol der S erbian c artoonists, t heir f amilies b rought t oZemun mu seum a l ot o f t heir c artoons a nd b ooks, t hen s ome t rophies f rom competitions,but also some personal things like favorite pencils, glasses etc. We accepted all that in apurpose t o k eep alive a part of Serbian cartoon history. But one of such gifts was verytouching. Namely, the widow of our known cartoonist Daskalović, after his death brought toZemun m useum, a mong other p ersonal t hings, a chocolate! H e explained m e t hat her l atehusband liked that kind of chocolate the best and that she would be happy if we add it to themuseum collection! After a short time I accepted it, so Daskalović`s favorite chocolate isnow in Zemun museum.Zemun cartoon museum also has close contacts with a lot of cartoonists from abroad. Someof t hem w ere ou r g uests, like t he a warded a rtists on ou r regular c ontests or those w ithpersonal e xhibitions in Zemun. Others we met abroad on different occasions. T hey a lsocollaborated w ith Z emun m useum t hrough se nding d ifferent m aterials su ch a s b ooks,catalogs an d c artoons and w ith s ome o f t hem w e a re a lso i n v ery c lose f riendship. Lo t o fcartoonists which had personal exhibitions in Zemun gave complete exhibitions to theZemun 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 collaboratedintensively. 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 useumestablished a good connection with a lot of cartoon museums around the world. For us, suchconnections are very important because we accomplished some exhibitions abroad, indifferent countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland), as well as afew ex hibitions i n Z emun, r epresenting m aterial f rom other m useums h ere. A ll t hoseexhibitions w ere a g ood c hance t o familiarize d omestic p ublic w ith t he m aterial o f o thermuseums. T he m ost important f or u s w as the cartoon m useums d irectors m eeting, for thefirst time organized in Eskishehir in Turkey, and the third which we organized in Zemun lastyear. T hose m eetings w ere a v ery g ood a nd u seful ex perience f or a ll p articipants a nd anoccasion to make better connections between museums.Yet it is said th at t he c onnections and c ollaboration b etween m useums h ad t o b e t hroughexchanging exhibitions, publications etc. Also, such connections could be realized through apractice 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 arepresentative of a nother cartoon m useum. A nd, m aybe t he m ost i mportant, such 25connections could be realized through visits of directors and other specialized staff to othermuseums to familiarize with their experiences i n presentation and keep cartoons and othermaterials, i n co nnection a nd co ntact with the public a nd the cartoonists a nd m any ot herthings related to the complete work of a cartoon museum. Mostly the purposes and the aims Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  26. 26. of cartoon museums are the same and the methods of work are similar, nevertheless thereare some sp ecifics in t he wo rk an d o rganization o f each of t hem. I can s ay t hat a l ot o fthings according to work and organization I learned during my official (and unofficial) visitsto the cartoon museums in Basel, Gabrovo, Warszawa, Kruishoutem and others. Such visitshelped me to organize the cartoon museum in Zemun as well as it was possible.Maybe t he mo st i mportant a spect of t he c onnecting t hrough c artoon i s a f riendship ma dewith a lot of different, but mostly wonderful people all round the world: cartoonists, directorsand 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 thansome other friendships based on another connection.Branko NajholdDirector of the Zemun Cartoon Museum Connect through communication, friendship and collaboration 26 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  27. 27. The Egyptian Caricature MuseumAfter I graduated from the Alexandrian Ac ademy o f Fi ne Ar ts, I t ravelled t o Spa in in 19 78and this is where I directly got involved with caricature. You could say that the production ofsatirical drawings actually saved my life; six months after my arrival when I found myselfwithout 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 theirpictures and portraits on the Plaza Major in Madrid. Furthermore I became aware of the factthat none of them was using the artistic form of caricature.I sat d own a nd spontaneously d rew t he p erson w ho w as sitting in fr ont o f m e. A fter I h adfinished; 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 gotintegrated into the artistic community of the Plaza Major and was able to survive for thenext 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 n evertheless I c an t ruly a ffirm t hat it s aved m y l ife. T his is h ow I f ell in love w ithcaricature 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, Iimmediately go and search for the local caricature museum.In 1985 when I came back t o Egypt, I attempted to collect caricatures and started l ookingfor them. This proved to be a very difficult task as the artists usually handed their work in tothe n ewspapers a nd g ot ri d of t he originals a fter t heir p ublication. I w as scared t hatEgyptian c aricature m ight d isappear wi thout a t race i n an y ar chive. I t herefore s et out t osearch for original caricatures and my love guided me. For over20 years I have collectedpiece 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 cartoonmuseum in my country. It was a dream that most of the time I managed to banish from mythoughts, 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 c omes i n, p lumps himself d own in fr ont o f o ne o f m y p aintings, and starts waving h ishands a bout, a s ign t hat h e h as a pi ece o f n ews. “ Every t ime I s old a pa inting I bo ught abrick,” he states.The b ricks a re n ow a ssembled i n F ayoum i n t he sh ape o f a couple-house made of naturalclay designed by Adel Fahmy a nd do nated by M ohamed Abla. “ I will be invited to theinauguration of a caricature museum in Fayoum not on the first of April, it is not a joke, buton the first of March!” Abla wanted Bahgouri and a chartered bus full of caricaturists to joinhim in the village of Tunis in Fayoum for the opening-day of the museum.From the catalogue of the caricature museum: 27“The art of the Egyptian caricature, since its rise at the beginning of the twentieth century,has h onestly m irrored t he p olitical a nd so cial changes t hat a ffected Egyptians a nd a lteredtheir characteristics. In order to understand their reactions outer appearance, interests and Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  28. 28. relationship with the ou tside w orld, t here cannot b e a m ore t ruthful depiction than t he on efound in Egyptian satire.I d eveloped t he C aricature M useum t o h ouse s ome o f t he w orks c reated b y ex ceptionalartists and to honor their pivotal (at times overlooked) role in relaying the emotional, socialand political conditions of Egypt. It is in a way a sanctuary for these works so that they mayalways 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 rmagazine they were printed in. The world of the Egyptian caricature is filled with as muchsorrow as it is with laughter. There are boundless stories of arrests, vagrancy and exile. Themuseum is also a testament to the artists that faced many hardships with humor and a wittyrepartee.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 ruerepresentative of the soul of modern art as a whole, being a merge between an idea and theelements of visual art. Aside from the clarity of its objective, it is very similar to theater andother a pplied a rts i n pr ovoking a n immediate reaction a nd instantaneous c onnectionbetween viewer and artist. Who among us was not moved by caricatures and forced to thinkabout h is o wn po sition in r egard t o t he c ourage a nd de pth o f i deas e xpressed by t heseheroes?I d edicate this museum t o the spirit of Zohdi El-Adawi, one of whose d ream was “thecreation of a caricature museum. “Caricature has carried the responsibility of serving as a mouthpiece of the Egyptian nationalcause from its very beginning at the end of the 19th century. And -most importantly- satiricaldrawings a lready ma de a n important c ontribution t o t he f ight o f independence j ust a boutthree decades after their first appearance in a modern newspaper. Ever since, Egyptiancaricature has displayed the socio-political developments in a critical, mocking and partiallyhidden 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 ndEgypt’s Revolution of the 25th January 2011”:“During the most i ntensive days from the 28 th of January until the 11th of F ebruary 2011 agreat number of people gathered, as we all know, on Cairo’s Tahrir Square without knowingwhether they would return home alive. They were aware of this danger and even willing todie 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 hadwitnessed o ther p eople b eing injured or e ven k illed. C ontrary t o t he e xpectations of t hepower holders, the demonstrators were not scared off. […] In t his s o en tirely ex ceptionalsituation, c aricature w as c ontinuously c omposed b y w hoever f elt like e xpressing h im- orherself in this way. Pictorial satire had escaped the restrictive frame of printed paper. Moreor l ess a rtistically a ccomplished c aricatures w ere p ainted on w alls, p rinted or d rawn on T -shirts a nd ba nderols, a nimatedly s taged by gr oups, i ndividuals o r w ith pu ppets a nd e vensymbolically 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 28patch or Hitler’s moustache. Loyal to the original feature imprinted into caricature b y t hepioneer C arracci movement a gainst t he idealism of R enaissance pa intings, t his genre came Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  29. 29. to tear down the unrealistic, iconographic image of the never-aging Hosni Mubarak and tofinally unmask the true, evil face of the Egyptian Dorian Gray.[…] On Tahrir Square, caricature had come to play different roles. Firstly, satirical drawingswere c oined as a p olitical we apon b y m eans o f wh ich t he p resident was f orced i ntoresignation. With this aim, people used whatever they had in order to produce satire. Theyeven t urned t hemselves i nto em bodied c aricatures. A y oung m an, f or ex ample, c ircled t hesquare with a paper that read:”Step down my hands are hurting (from holding the banner)!”Secondly, caricature a nd enacted satire h elped Egyptians to k eep their sp irits o f r esistancehigh. Especially spontaneous parodies of the president, where one or two people performedand the crowd c ould shout back at them, were extremely helpful for t his purpose. In orderto make the demonstrators endure the long hours of waiting and the constant feeling ofthreat o n t he sq uare, artists t ypically p erformed sk etches, p oems and so ngs w ith sa tiricalcontent. Thirdly, banners with caricatures and satirical texts were used in order to transportthe 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 andpromoting this special lively art. I am also aware of the fact that we are still at the verybeginning of an enormous project which I hope -from the bottom of my heart- will enhancethe production of and the research into this field by interested students all over the world.Mohamed Abla Connect through politics, art and dreams 29 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  30. 30. Once Upon a Toon…A P ittsburgh ma n w ith r ectangular f ramed gla sses a nd a b ristly be ard ( quite a c artooncharacter himself) envisioned a museum. In fact, it was not just a museum, but aToonSeum, w here c artoon a rt w ould b e c elebrated f or t he y oung a nd t he y oung-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 y ears, I h ave b een a p erforming c artoonist a nd s toryteller, c ombiningstorytelling w ith live c artoon i llustration on s tage. I h ave p erformed f or v enues t hroughoutthe United States. Ten years ago I got a life changing phone call from a young man who hadseen me perform in Columbus, Ohio. The caller was the newly appointed education directorof 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. T he d irector w anted t o k now i f I would p erform a nd l ead w orkshops f or t heopening w eek’s fe stivities. I w as o verwhelmed a nd d elighted, a nd co nsidering S chulz w asmy hero and inspiration, I immediately accepted the opportunity. A f ew months later, I wasbound for my first trip to California.Prior to working for the Charles M. Shultz Museum, I worked as a performer and consultantwith the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for over two decades. At the Childrens Museum, Iworked i n a variety of ways i ncluding exhibitions, education, events, outreach programs aswell a s a ssisting in o ther p rograms. N ow, I h ad a lready p erformed a t h undreds o f 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 nycartoonist, but my personal hero. I had never met “Sparky”, as his friends, family and othercartoonists called Mr. Schultz, and unfortunately I never got the chance because he passedaway 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 yetmodest visionary who saw the need for the Schulz Museum and made it a reality. In theyears to follow, I would come to rely on her advice and support as the ToonSeum inched itsown way into existence.I spent a week performing and getting to know the audience, staff and volunteers that makeup 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 Iencountered the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum. It was then I realized I w as looking atwhat c ould be t he n ext b ig mu seum mo vement in America: C artoon Art M useums! H avingbeen with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for so long, I watched as the childrenmuseums i ndustry e xpanded f rom j ust a h andful of c ities t o a n ational p henomenon w ithmajor museums in every city. When I returned to Pittsburgh, I immersed myself in learningall 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, Ihad amassed a collection of over 500 pieces and I realized this collection could serve as thebasis f or a n e xhibition gallery. I decided th e be st w ay t o b egin w ould be by pr ototyping agallery. The Children’s Museum agreed to provide an under-utilized hallway which I couldretrofit with a hanging system and signage to create an appropriate space. It quicklybecame c lear, h owever, t hat I w ould b e on m y ow n f or ra ising the f unds. I a lso k new t hatmeant that I would have to create a non-profit entity which meant giving up any ownership. 30Around this time, the International Cartoon Art Museum was closing in Boca Raton. MortWalker had made s everal noble attempts at m aintaining a c artoon art museum but he hadnow essentially decided to move on. Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  31. 31. Through Je annie Sc hulz, I go t a me eting w ith M ort a nd a sked i f h e would g ive me s omeadvice. H e c onsented a nd g ave m e t he b est a dvice I h ave e very received o n s tarting amuseum: “Don’t do it.” He went on to let me know it would be an all-consuming passion. Itwould alter my life, be long hours, and ultimately it would never be mine. Also, I would haveto give up my collection and my career and even then there were no guarantees it wouldsucceed. He then said he could clearly see I was going to do it, and wished me success. Buthe prepared me, by letting me know the difficulty that would lie ahead, and sharing with memistakes t hat h e h ad made. So w ith my n ewfound k nowledge, I entered w ith ey es w ideopen 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 aboard of d irectors. I started w ith l ocal c artoonists, people I a dmired and respected bu t di dnot know personally. I was determined that I would not have family or friends on this board.I wan ted t o d o i t r ight an d r eceive h onest f eedback every s tep of t he wa y. I wa sn’t d oingthis for me, I was doing this for Pittsburgh and beyond.The b oard came t ogether q uickly. R ob R ogers, a n e ditorial c artoonist a nd f ormer p residentof the Editorial Cartoonists Association, became our President. I worked closely with him tobuild 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 withhelp 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 childrens book into ananimated cartoon. The exhibit featured o riginal art from several ch ildren’s cl assic animatedcartoons including Horton Hears a Who, Charlotte’s Web, Berenstein Bears, Heidi and muchmore. It also featured storyboard, cels, sketches and notes, all which came from mypersonal collection. The exhibit was a success and set the standards we hold for exhibitionsto 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 theart.We went on t o p resent t welve m ore exhibitions d uring o ur t ime a t t he C hildren’s M useum.Overall, it w as a s ymbiotic r elationship. W e br ought t he mu seum a n ew a udience, qu alityexhibitions a nd w e 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 allgrant applications, we could not grow. 31It 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 anexpression of freedom of speech. So like every comic book geek, we realized there comes atime when you must move out of your parent’s basement. Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  32. 32. Word hit the streets that the ToonSeum was looking to move and expand and I immediatelyreceived invites from around the country to move the ToonSeum to their cities. (A fact Ihadn’t revealed to anyone until now! But the ToonSeum almost ended up in Georgia!) But inmy heart I knew we belonged in Pittsburgh. We had built a strong support network of fansand foundations.After a lot of site visits and research, we moved to downtown Pittsburgh at the invite of thePittsburgh C ultural T rust. W e d ecided to find a private landlord within the Cultural District,making us the only independent arts organization not renting off the trust within the CulturalDistrict of Pittsburgh. We had learned from our relationship with the Children’s Museum thata cartoon art museum had to be completely independent of editorial influences from outsidethe i nstitution. An d w ith gr eatly a ppreciated f unding f rom t he G rable Fo undation w e w ereable to complete the move in 2009.We op ened ou r d oors t o g reat f anfare a nd e nthusiasm. M uch to ou r g ratitude, t he f rontpage o f bo th l ocal pa pers c overed o ur o pening e vent w ith legendary j azz mu sician a ndcomposer of the music for the classic cartoon School House Rocks. The ToonSeum was homeand guests were beginning to trek from all over the world to see our Akira Exhibition, Gertiethe D inosaur, and now over 2000 pieces rotating through our gallery. We acquired largecollections from the now defunct Cartoon Art Museum in Ticonderoga, New York, as well assome pieces from Mort Walkers International Cartoon Art Museum.For t wo years w e w ould b e i n ou r h umble s torefront i n d owntown P ittsburgh. A s mall g iftshop 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 b ig d ecisions. T he g ift sh op w as n owrun solely by the Toonseum instead of a previously independent retailer, which in turn wouldincrease b oth r esponsibility a nd r evenues. When t he t iming w as r ight w e w ould u se t herevenue t o e xpand ou r g allery d oors. In 201 1 th e T oonseum a lso a dded a second ga lleryand outdoor courtyard. The gallery was named after Pittsburgh native, cartoonist andproducer Lou Scheimer of Filmation. He was best known for his work on He-Man, Fat Albertand the Archies. He cut the ribbon using a replica of He-Man’s Power Sword from the 1982Macys Day Parade!The space befits us. It is located on a culturally diverse and quirky block. Our courtyardfeatures three cartoon-like musician statues that predate us but fit our space well. We havebecome 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 hada superhero exhibit at the time and the special guest was legendary Joker creator JerryRobinson. 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 evenmore tourists making the pilgrimage to Pittsburgh, The Birth Place of Pop Culture! Therehave been far too many exhibits, programs, guests, partnerships, and more to list here. Allof 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 theToonSeum, I h ave a lways r ecognized t hat t his mu seum h as n ever b een a bout me . It i sabout our fans, our volunteers and our staff. They make every day a delight to be here. I amsurrounded not just by the art that has inspired me, but by people who inspire me. I could 32not h ave d one th is w ithout o ur bo ard a nd dedicated v olunteers. My r ight h and, M andiBridgeman, h as t ruly b een a g odsend w ho h as h elped u s g row our f an-base b y l eaps an dbounds. W e c ontinue to gr ow, a nd i n 2 013 w e w ill be h onored to host th e NationalCartoonists Society Reuben Awards, the first time our city has hosted in the NCS’s almost 70 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  33. 33. year history. We have also taken a lead role in hosting a US Cartoon Museum Conference inPittsburgh in late 2012 (Inspired by my participation in this conference!)As M ort W alker warned m e, t here would b e g reat p ersonal s acrifice, b ut n ot a m inute ofregret. I l ook f orward t o t he c oming y ears o f new exhibitions, n ew fans, n ew f riends a ndnew 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 33 Connecting through cartoons success stories |
  34. 34. Humour as lever to the Museum work…The P ortoCartoon was a s mall a dventure i n t he g reat a dventure o f t he P ortuguese P rintingPress Museum. At the museum’s inauguration in 1997, the Portuguese President JorgeSampaio a sked a bout t he c apacity o f t he m useum t o o rganize ev ery year a f estival o f t hismagnitude. Would t his b e t oo m uch a udacious? - He a sked m e. It m ay b e, I said. T hemuseum i tself h as t he mark of courage. S o l ets s ee h ow t he c artoonists a round t he w orldwill answer our call. They will have the answer.My c alm r esponse h id s ome f ear. W e knew t hat o ther f estivals a nd competitions w ere w ellestablished in some countries. We knew that space was not that wide for PortoCartoon, butdaring do esn’t c ost a th ing. We h ad d one a s urvey o f t he existing initiatives a nd t heirfeatures. R ight f rom t he be ginning w e chose to have an international strong theme as adistinctive feature, together with other aspects that proved to make the difference wewanted to take on the valorisation of the cartoon as a kind of journalistic intervention.This was a feature that we assume si nce t he b eginning: t he ca rtoon is a j ournalistic st yle.Since t he fi rst ca talogue t his w as m arked, even t hough k nowing t hat t he J ournalismmanuals do not assume this... This is one of the main reasons for the close relationshipbetween a p rinting p ress m useum a nd a p ermanent s pace f or c artoons. The InternationalCartoon Gallery is certainly one of the few places in the world of graphic humour that is dailyopen: 365 days/year. Or 366, as 2012 is a leap year!In these few years of PortoCartoon and International Cartoon Gallery existence, the humourhas served as a lever to the Museum work. It has been spread either by the city of Porto, orby other Portuguese and foreign cities. This humour brings and takes stories with it.Later, i n 1 999, t here was also another story with the same Portuguese President, at theinauguration of the International Cartoon Gallery. The spongy ground, the little lighting andthe sensors caused some fear and hesitation at the entrance. The President Jorge Sampaiohesitated, but s oon m oved f orward a nd found h imself in a d istortion m irror o f a uto-caricature, a nd e njoyed se eing h imself distorted in different w ays. U nlike a lady w ho st oodbeside him and said "oh what a fear!". She turned back and was never seen again. Humourcan also be scary!!!The idea that humour can scare is more present in its relationship with power. Since evercartoons frighten the powerful. Since before Daumier and also after him. This is one of thevirtues of his intervention. Humour is one of the few truths, proud and serious in the worldof unbelief, untruth and inhumanity.Luís Humberto MarcosCartoon Virtual Museum 34 Connect through press, adventure and courage Connecting through cartoons success stories |