Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Library Week: Ronald Searle

What's that? It's National Library Week already?

Last year for National Library Week I attempted to get together a nice selection of artists, then found I had more material by Ronald Searle than anyone else. This year I'm putting together a much smaller selection, but to be consistent I'll start with some Searle artwork anyway. Look, it's what I do, and I make no pretense of objectivity in any of my choices.

This photograph of original artwork from the over-hyphenated Wilhelm-Busch-Museum was given the reasonable but incorrect title Onomatopoeia on the microblogging platform on which it appeared last September. The author and photographer was someone who preferred to be known by the tongue-twisting name MissMuthichcreamhilled and who has since vanished without a trace. Maybe that's a good thing. What's not good is that the image also has disappeared from the site that was hosting it, one of the more annoying things about the internet. Fortunately I saved a copy for you. You're welcome.

The cartoon is set in a personal library, which actually is the preferred subject for all my posts during National Library Week, even though that's not what we're supposed to be celebrating. Hey, it's my blog, all right?

The drawing, which actually goes by the title Vroomp!!! Crrakk!! Zok!!!--you know, some days I marvel at what I actually end up writing for general consumption--was reproduced in Searle's 1968 collection The Square Egg. His wife Monica sometimes set aside drawings of his that contained adorable mice and this became part of her personal collection. The Searles later donated their personal holdings to the Wilhelm-Busch-Museum in Hannover. Do you see how we've come full circle here?

Oh, did I forget to mention that this drawing is delightful?

Onomatopoeia by Ronald Searle 
zu sehen im Wilhelm-Busch-Museum Hannover
Photo and post on by MissMuthichcreamhilled

OK, that's how MissMuthichcreamhilled did it. This is how I would do it:

Ronald Searle, Vroomp!!! Crrakk!! Zok!!! (1966)
Pen and wash, 35.2 x 49.1 Collection Monica Searle
Le Figaro Littéraire, October 20, 1966

The Square Egg & The Vicious Circle (1968), Page 15
Ronald Searle (1973) Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, Catalogue number 153
Searle & Searle (2001), Catalogue number 16, page 39


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