Steve Bell recalls the “Golden Age of Caricature”

Steve Bell

Steve Bell

Political cartoonist Steve Bell – best known for his work in The Guardian – will be at the University of Aberdeen in November, giving a free talk on Britain’s early visual satirists such as James Gillray, William Hogarth and George Cruikshank.

His talk ties in with Print Shop Window: An Exhibition of Visual Satire, an ongoing exhibition, which centres on a lively selection of satirical prints and material from the University’s Special Collections, featuring examples of caricatures by the artists William Hogarth, James Gillray and George Cruikshank drawn during the reign of George III, known the ‘Golden Age of Caricature’.

The exhibition explores the Georgian political landscape, social issues, fashion and stereotypes. It highlights artists who pushed the boundaries of taste and etiquette for comic and satirical purposes, and offered a powerful medium through which to test ideas of the freedom of speech.

Modern satirical cartoons published in newspapers and magazines, such as the work of Gerald Scarfe and Steve Bell, continue to adopt this irreverent approach:  taking familiar imagery and inverting it to shock, amuse, and challenge contemporary issues.


Steve Bell has produced illustrations and comic strips for many publications including Punch, Private Eye, the New Statesman, The Spectator, Time Out and Social Work Today.

Since 1981 Bell has written and drawn the daily If… strip in the Guardian. In addition, since 1990, he has produced four large free-standing cartoons a week on the leader pages, which now appear in full colour. He created the memorable image of John Major with his underpants worn outside his trousers, of Tony Blair with Margaret Thatcher’s rogue eyeball, and of George W Bush as a chimpanzee.

• A talk by Steve Bell: Friday 15 November 2013 Time: 6.00 – 7.00pm, The Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen. Free. Booking is essential if you want to attend this event.  To book your free place click here.

• To find out more about Print Shop Window: An Exhibition of Visual Satire which runs until 26th January 2014  visit:

Steve Bell will also be at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Saturday 19th October

Categories: British Comics - Newspaper Strips, Events, Exhibitions

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