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Sam Jacob Studio to design the new Cartoon Museum in London

Sam Jacob Studio's design for the facade of the Cartoon Museum, scheduled to open in 2019.
Sam Jacob Studio's design for the facade of the Cartoon Museum, scheduled to open in 2019.

Sam Jacob Studio has been commissioned to design the new Cartoon Museum on London’s Oxford Street. Scheduled to open in early 2019, the new venue will heralds a new, more public-facing phase for the institution and also enable it to expand its programming surrounding British cartoons, caricatures, comics and animation.

Originally founded in 2006 by a group of cartoonists, collectors and enthusiasts, the Cartoon Museum has been searching for a new permanent home that will help it develop to its full potential. The museum has accepted a 25-year lease at 55 Wells Street, located near Oxford Circus. This central location, close to the Photographer’s Gallery and many of London’s leading commercial art galleries will help the Cartoon Museum definie its new, higher profile role.

‘It’s a fantastic institution with an incredible collection and programme,’ says Sam Jacob, who is known for his playful approach to architecture and working on A House for Essex with Grayson Perry with FAT.

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Sam Jacob Studio’s rendering of the new Cartoon Museum in London

‘Our approach turns the graphic world of cartoons into a three-dimensional space full of humour and delight,’ he says of the new design which will create space for temporary installations and the display of the permanent collection. There will also be a shop, learning centre and archive space, as well as the necessary back of house facilities. 

The museum wanted more flexibility with how they could present the collection of original cartoon and comic art from the 18th-century to the present day. Their archive includes examples from the ‘golden age of caricature’ by the likes Georgian era legends James Gillray and George Cruikshank, as well as political cartoons from the 19th and 20th centuries right up to contemporary cartoonists and comic artists such as Alison Bechdel, Charles Griffin, Michael Heath and Posy Simmonds amongst many others.

‘Sam Jacob Studio’s design brings a real sense of fun and vibrancy to the visitor experience. It has always been our aim to send people out of the museum happier than when they came in and Sam is really helping us to achieve this aim. We look forward to continuing to animate the cultural landscape of London,’ says Oliver Preston, chair of the Cartoon Museum. §

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