Next week, on 3rd March, Ronald Searle, one of the most stupendously talented artists and cartoonists of recent times, is 90 years old. And still working.
To mark this fact there are two exhibitions in London.
Read about them here on the Professional Cartoonists Organisation blog.
As my own contribution to the celebrations I thought I’d exhibit a rarely seen early Searle on these pages. It was drawn when he was 18 years old.
The picture dates back to Searle’s early years in Cambridge. He wasn’t a student there – he just happened to live in the town (His father was a porter at Cambridge railway station at the time of Ronald’s birth). He managed to get a job as a cartoonist on the local Cambridge paper and also indulged his interest in art by drawing portraits (not quite caricatures at this early stage) for the Cambridge University magazine The Granta.
This portrait from the magazine’s edition of 2nd November 1938 is of Helen Gillett, who just happens to be my partner’s mother (which is why we’ve got an old copy of the publication in a drawer). She had her portrait done because she’d just become the captain of the women’s hockey team.
Here’s a rare treat:
Ronald Searle’s first TV interview in 35 years,
conducted for his 90th birthday for Channel 4 News
The Ronald Searle exhibition at The Cartoon Museum: March 3rd – July 4th 2010