Frequently hard-hitting, occasionally scurrilous and almost always hilarious, satirical bible Private Eye has been delighting readers and upsetting the great and good since its inception in 1961.
The Private Eye: The First 50 Years exhibition – to be held at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 18 October-8 January – will turn the focus away from the magazine’s exemplary journalism and on to the magazine’s art and design.
Private Eye still cultivates a deliberately rough-and-ready aesthetic, harking back to the days when its founders – who included Richard Ingrams, Christopher Booker and original designer Willie Rushton – would put the magazine together using typewriters and Letraset. Even today the text-heavy magazine still has large sections in black-and-white.
The V&A show will aim to evoke the atmosphere of the magazine’s Soho office, promising a recreation of the editor’s paper-strewn desk and intriguing-sounding artefacts such as a life-sized cut-out of Tony Blair, a stuffed dog and a flying Robert Maxwell…
Also on show will be work from some of the stellar array of artists who have contributed to the magazine, including Rushton himself as well as Gerald Scarfe, Ralph Steadman, Barry Fantoni and others.
To top things off, Private Eye editor Ian Hislop has chosen 50 of his favourite covers for the show – one from every year the magazine has been published.
Trebles all round.
The Private Eye: The First 50 Years exhibition will run from 18 October-8 January at The Victoria & Albert Museum is located at Cromwell Road, London SW7.