'Hanover, Germany - The British cartoonist Ronald Searle, who has lived in the south of France for the past three decades, has sold a lifetime of original drawings to a German museum, the museum said Wednesday. Searle's spiky cartoons have been a fixture in the news media, books and films for more than six decades. The Wilhelm Busch Museum of Caricature and Drawing in Hanover is to mount a first exhibition, spanning 75 years of his work, later this month, Gisela Vetter-Liebenow, deputy museum director, said. She said Searle, 91, and his wife Monica had been paid just under 1 million euros (1.4 million dollars) by the Lower Saxony state culture fund for more than 2,000 sketches, 50 books of drawings and lithographs. The British Museum in London also holds Searle work. "He's still drawing," said Vetter-Liebenow. The sale of literary papers includes drawings he did on a 1961 assignment for US magazine Life of the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem.'
Ronald Searle stresses that the 1 million euro sale has actually been in the form of an ongoing 'pension' payment to him and Monica. Awarded by the Lower Saxony cultural foundation for Ronald's long association with the museum (since around 1960).
I just stumbled upon this article from the AOI's Derek Brazell, where Ronald mentions the Wilhelm-Busch museum.
AOI Patron, Ronald Searle, would never lay claim to this himself, but he is one of the most influential illustrators the UK has produced, and has esteemed illustrators like Ralph Steadman, Posy Simmons, Steve Bell and Gerald Scarfe lining up to pay tribute to him and his work. His work has encompassed everything from sensitive depictions of refugees to the hilarious out of control St Trinian's schoolgirls. AOI's Derek Brazell visited Ronald and his wife Monica in April to interview him for an upcoming book Making Great Illustration. They live in a picturesque hilltop village in the south of France, where they have been resident since the sixties, and were charmingly welcoming, breaking out the famous pink champagne 'engine-oil'!
Ronald spoke about how professional he believed the AOI was and how much he liked Varoom magazine, as well as covering his thoughts on illustration and how he puts his artwork together. He also spoke about his work held at the Wilhelm-Busch-Museum in Hannover, 'What they wanted was the possibility to have the whole archive of one person that they could actually open to the public to show how one illustrator would work. So I’m leaving all my archive, and all my basic stuff to them, which is protected under German law, can never be split up, must be available to the public. If by any chance the museum closed it belongs to the German state and must go to another museum. Fantastic.' From the AOI website
Ronald and Monica Searle at the museum in 2001 for their joint exhibition Searle and Searle. Monica had her hand-made jewelry designs on display.