The Cartoon MuseumBack to Grants for Conservation Projects
Tru Vue Conservation & Exhibition Grant Scheme
Grant Sum Awarded
Icon Accredited Conservator
Ralph Steadman is one of the world’s most influential living illustrators, perhaps best known for his collaborations with iconic American writer Hunter S. Thompson on the birth of ‘Gonzo’ journalism and the now cult-classic ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, published in 1971.
As part of curatorial research completed in 2020, The Cartoon Museum uncovered three never-before-displayed artworks by artist Ralph Steadman. Two of these works were offered by Steadman himself and one of them was discovered in a private collection.
The works were large in size (H: 786 mm x W: 563 mm x D: 4 mm, H: 840 mm x W: 594 mm x D: 5 mm and H: 760 mm x W: 565 mm) and also contained 3D elements including pen nibs and a feather. The works therefore could not be accommodated by any of the museum’s existing frames. The Cartoon Museum is a charity and receives no public funding and therefore the purchase of new bespoke frames was not an option.
The Tru Vue® Conservation & Exhibition Grant Scheme enabled The Cartoon Museum to commission bespoke frames with Tru Vue Optium Acrylic for the three works. The frames were produced by The Picture Framers in collaboration with Tru Vue. The works were transported to The Picture Framers and professionally installed in their bespoke frames before being transported back to The Cartoon Museum for display.
The Cartoon Museum developed a special exhibition to share the newly framed works with the public – ‘Ralph Steadman: Hidden Treasures’, which was open to the public 18 August–10 October 2021.
The project has enabled these unseen works to be shared with the general public. It also has created the opportunity for this high-profile exhibition, which will support income generation for the museum in 2021 (a year in which the museum is in financial difficulty due to forced closures because of coronavirus).