Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Mr Searle never fails to astound me with his remarkable recall.  He sent me the following info on a recent obscure find:

"In your blog you reproduced a 1941 'South American' subject of mine. I can tell you that this was a bookplate for one of the officers of the American troopship USS Mount Vernon that was carrying us to Singapore. His name was Edmund L. Engel (ELE) and his wife's initials were LvBE. Very odd that a copy should turn up, after all these years, on e-bay. He, ELE, died many years ago. We correspondend after the war until his death."

The Daily Mail has an article calling for a knighthood for Searle.  The author feels like many of us that Searle's home country has long neglected honoring the man or his art.  Read it here.
The Daily Telegraph reports on the Searle archive going to Germany.

Valerie Grove's biography of Searle's first wife Kaye Webb was recently published.  Interesting summary of their time together in this review.
UK residents can listen to Grove discuss Kaye Webb's life here.

'Webb first encountered Ronald Searle when he sent cartoons to Lilliput. ("I liked his jokes," she said later. "And I loved his handwriting." Who could resist that inky Searle scrawl?) Searle spent most of the second World War in a brutal Japanese prison camp, and when he returned to England he finally met Webb in person. Webb had already been married twice, but she couldn't resist him. Grove's depiction of their initial romance is very touching, not least because the reader knows it would end so unhappily years later. They married in 1948, several months after Webb gave birth to their twin son and daughter.

The Searles spent the 1950s surrounded by the most exciting writers and artists of the day. Their striking modern house, filled with curiosities and Searle murals, was the setting for fantastic parties - the guests at one 1952 event included Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov, Clement Freud and Edward Ardizzone. But in 1961 Searle left his wife with no warning, leaving a note. As Grove shows, she never really got over him.'

Anna Carey in the Irish Times

Anita O Brien, curator of the London Cartoon Museum tells me: "Ronald has donated four originals to the Cartoon Museum collection together with prints of 'More News from Provence', and some Le Monde cartoons plus the collection of pens, pencils and papers which are on display. These are the four the trustees chose. Ronald thought it was a good choice."

(Thanks to Stephen Nadler & Anita O Brien)

Over at Cartoon Brew Amid Amidi has flagged up the CTN-X website where you can now watch my presentation on Searle's work in animation and film titles.  The link is here.

You can read another positive review of Valerie Grove's biography of Kaye Webb at the Daily Mail website.

Louis Hellman discusses architecture in Searle's drawings over at the Architects' Journal website.


Peter said...

Thanks for the links to these articles, Matt.
The blog continues to round-out the work and the character of this great artist.
It is particularly good to know that Mr. Searle reads the blog, himself.

Matt J said...

Thanks for the comment Pete-looks like you & Ronald are the only ones left reading this blog!

UM said...

Looks like there is someone else reading this after all...