Political cartoons of the award-winning Bulgaria-born Turkish artist Aytos brightened up this year at the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo! His witty satire is reflected in COVID and social illustrations. In this post, find more details about regular and temporary exhibitions at the funniest Bulgarian museum!

  • Smart Cartoons on Paper and Tapestry at the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo

The House of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo is a museum of contemporary art with a specialization in humor artifacts. For over 50 years, it has collected about 35000 artifacts from all over the world (cartoons, statues, books, etc.).

Caricature lovers can explore rich collections online through the museum’s Facebook and website. And amateur cartoonists can find there useful information about cartoon contests globally.

For the last 100 years, Gabrovo, the hometown of the legendary artist Christo, has been considered the Bulgarian capital of humour and the industrial center. Gabrovians like mocking their entrepreneurial traits and most jokes cover up greediness.

The black cat as the museum artifact

The main city symbol is a black cat with a cut-off tail that one can see everywhere in the city. According to the famous joke, to save the heat, Gabrovians closed the door so quickly that cut a piece of the cat’s tail.

The Cat with a cat tail: the key artifact at the Gabrovo Museum of Humour and Satire
The Cat with a cat tail: the key artifact at the Gabrovo Museum of Humour and Satire. © Tatyana Garkavaya

A not-to-be-missed collection is a hall with gigantic puppets for the famous Gabrovo Carnival that every May gathers thousands of Bulgarian and international spectators. The enormous black cat is the most important artifact among dozens of participants in the carnival.

A am at the Carnival Hall against the background of a huge black cat.
I am at the Carnival Hall (the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo) against the background of a huge black cat. © Tatyana Garkavaya

Pandemic and political crises: A caricature perspective

At the moment, the Gabrovo Museum of Humour and Satire displays over 300 clever illustrations of the best world cartoonists, the finalists of the 45th National Exhibition of Cartoons, the Women Cartoonists International Award 2019, and Czech caricaturists. Most are available online.

Cartoon Salon 2020 is the most important this year exhibition. It hosts the 45th National Exhibition of Cartoons with 145 works by 38 authors (Velin Andreev, Fiko Fikov, Svetlyn Stefanov, Maya Cholakova, Milko Dikov, etc.). Most of them are devoted to political and pandemic themes.

The Garden of Eden at the Museum of Humour and Satire Gabrovo

The first exhibition that visitors see at the museum is the Garden of Eden, eight tapestries, by Boris Dimovski (1925-2007), the iconic Bulgarian illustrator who frequently exhibited his works abroad (Canada, Belgium, Italy the former Yugoslavia).

  • Smart Cartoons on Paper and Tapestry at the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo

Guest exhibitions at the museum are topical displays that reflect views on global social matters in other countries. The Women Cartoonists by finalists of the Women Cartoonists International Award 2019 exhibition tackles the question of gender equality and promotes female self-expression.

  • Smart Cartoons on Paper and Tapestry at the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo

The exhibition Meanwhile Elsewhere is devoted to the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia (1918). Many works show the cultural transitions of society with all their controversies and doubts. The history of the Czech comics began at the dawn of Czechoslovakia.

  • Smart Cartoons on Paper and Tapestry at the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo

Find more curiosities in the section Places of the Cultural Insights.