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Biting Wit and Brazen Folly: British Satirical Prints, 1780s–1830s

May 4–December 5, 2018

A riot of color and a roar of laughter

Printed satirical caricatures were inescapable in London during the 1700s and 1800s. Often lighthearted and cheeky upon first glance, the images could also be mulled over and picked apart at leisure. A bawdy scene or grotesque facial expression instantly amused, while closer study revealed deeper literary or political references. Whether a fashionable dandy or a poor chimney sweep, no one escaped the scrutiny of caricaturists.

This exhibition reveals the widespread appeal of caricature in Georgian England and demonstrates the ways in which such images teased and provoked audiences. Featuring over sixty brightly colored etchings from the Museum's large collection of British satirical prints, it presents images of the everyday with a riot of color and a roar of laughter.

Browse all the works in this exhibition

Main Building


Eileen Owens, Suzanne Andrée Curatorial Fellow, with John Ittmann, The Kathy and Ted Fernberger Curator of Prints

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