Royal College of Physicians to host cartoon and caricature workshops as part of “A Taste of One’s Own Medicine” exhibition

London’s Royal College of Physicians is hosting a “hybrid workshop” for adults about caricature and cartoons with the Cartoon Museum’s Steve Marchant on Wednesday 15th June.

The cow-pock – or – the wonderful effects of the new inoculation! Engraving by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey, London, 12 June 1808. Image: Royal College of Physicians

The event, available online and in person at the Museum, ties in with their current exhibition, “A Taste of One’s Own Medicine”, exploring the enduring appeal of satirical images, and how doctors have been ridiculed, reprimanded and maligned for centuries.

Steve, who is the learning coordinator and comic art advisor at the Cartoon Museum, will help you hone your skills to create your own caricatures and cartoon strips.

You can take part in person at the Royal College of Physicians striking home on the edge of Regent’s Park or join the event online. If joining online a link and instructions will be sent to you from the RCP team (history@rcp.ac.uk) prior to the event. Find out more and book here – in person tickets cost £15, online £12. A discount is available for Art Pass holders, which also lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums and galleries and historic houses across the UK, as well as 50% off major exhibitions.

A caricature workshop for young adults, again in partnership with the Cartoon Museum, will run later in the year, on Friday 7th October.

A Taste of One’s Own Medicine

A consultation of physicians. Coloured engraving by unknown artist, 1760–1830. Image: Royal College of Physicians

We see countless satirical images in our everyday lives, from commercial advertisements and newspaper cartoons, to magazine covers and humorous internet memes, and the Royal College of Physicians “A Taste of One’s Own Medicine” exhibition explores the history of such satire, which you can explore online, as well as in person.

Graphic satire has saturated all levels of society since it emerged as a skilled artform in the 17th century. It developed into a thriving industry in the 18th century, becoming a powerful tool for expressing political and social opinions.

The headache. Coloured etching by George Cruikshank, published by George Humphrey, London, 1819 | Image: Royal College of Physicians

The enduring appeal of satirical images encompassed the wealthy and poor alike. Reproduced in their tens, hundreds or even thousands, prints could be bought by the wealthy from printmakers, viewed in shop windows and later newspapers, and put up in public places such as barber shops, billiard rooms and brothels.

Like many public figures, medical professionals such as doctors, apothecaries and surgeons were targeted by satirists and caricaturists. These artists used public opinion and personal agendas to ridicule, reprimand and malign their subjects and the work they were involved in.

The Royal College of Physicians Museum is based on St Andrews Place, London, its collections gathered over five centuries since our foundation by Royal Charter of Henry VIII in 1518. It cares for a unique collection of medical satire prints from the mid-18th century to the 1980s, selected and given by doctors and members over its 500-year history.

Like all satire, these prints are closely tied to a particular time and place. They responded to contemporary events and were consumed by audiences who understood the circumstances of their creation.

Explore the diverse social, political, and historical contexts in which those satirical prints were produced, and seek to decipher the complex narratives they contain…

• “A Taste of One’s Own Medicine” runs until 2nd December 2022, 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday, free entry, no need to book (for groups of up to five people), Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4LE. The exhibition will be open late on Wednesday 1st June | Find out more about the Museum here | More about the exhibition

Find out more about Steve Marchant’s cartoons and caricatures workshop on Wednesday 15th June and book here – in person tickets cost £15, online £12

With thanks to Richard Sheaf

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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