Donald McGill Postcards

Donald McGill designed and produced a huge range of seaside themed postcards that depict cartoon characters of husbands and wives, newly weds, gossiping neighbours and vicars with the subjects ranging from drinking, matrimony, religion, parenthood, and married life to name a few.

The cards are simple, uncomplicated, and inevitably saucy – but rarely coarse and never crude.

Seaside Postcard Museum Isle of Wight

Now these seaside postcards can be seen at a new museum in Ryde on the Isle of Wight which houses the largest collection of McGill’s work in the world.

Located at the back of a vegetarian restaurant, the Donald McGill Postcard Museum is extremely compact, colourful and informative. Essentially, its one room, with rare cards, artwork and mementoes set up in display cabinets. The ceiling and most of the walls are covered in his cards too – so anything out of eye level loses out, which is a shame. However, the old Police Van bursting with contraband was a winner. Nice touches were the old turnstile entrance, the sand strewn floor by the beach scenes with a soundtrack of seagulls, ice cream vans and barrel-organs. It’s a nostalgic space for anyone aged 50 plus, since many of the items reflect the holiday experiences of an average English childhood.  It’s an entertaining and charming place, allowing us to dip a toe into the past.

There is a Donald McGill website for further information about this very unusual and skilled artist