Posted: June 9th, 2015
An exhibition and sale of 40 of KEITH WAITE’S sharpest Daily and Sunday Mirror cartoons is to be staged in July (2015) in his home town of Ipswich. Some of the money raised will aid the town’s St Elizabeth’s Hospice, where Keith died last year aged 87.
Keith Waite was one of Britain’s greatest-ever political and social cartoonists and his work is eagerly sought by collectors. He worked for the Daily and Sunday Mirror from 1969 until 1986 – when he walked out after a furious row with Robert Maxwell.
Many of the cartoons on display will feature Premier Margaret Thatcher and some of her ministers. There will also be a cartoon of Arthur Scargill. One of the cartoons will be raffled in aid of St Elizabeth’s Hospice. The other cartoons are for sale and a proportion of the proceeds will also go to St Elizabeth’s. The exhibition will be aboard the restored sailing barge Melissa, moored at Ipswich’s Orwell Quay. It will be open from 10am to 7pm on Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5. AMP members are welcome.
Keith’s widow Renee said: “A published newspaper cartoon is relatively small but the original artwork is large and incredibly detailed. Working out how to organise the display on a barge is a little more tricky than in a gallery!” New Zealander Keith, a prize-winning childhood cartoonist, came to Britain in 1951. He was the Cartoonist Club’s cartoonist of the year in 1963.
During his long career, he worked in Glasgow for the then Kemsley-owned Daily Record and Daily News, then Punch, the Daily Sketch, and the old Sun before it was sold to Rupert Murdoch.
After he left the Mirror, Keith spent a year sailing before joining The Times City Diary. He retired in 1997. Renee paid tribute to Keith’s prolific output. “It might seem like a heavy workload but Keith produced three cartoons a day for many years. He also produced line drawings, watercolours and woodcuts, many of his great love, the sea.”
By BILL ROWNTREE, former Mirror Group photographer
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