Take a cartoon tour of art museums. It adds a dash of fun to viewing the works of art you love by seeing them through a cartoonist’s eyes. Look at a painting and ask the question, what’s the punchline? It’s no disrespect to the art and you might even appreciate it more.

The Birth of WHO?

Take Botticelli’s beautiful Birth of Venus. The goddess has emerged from the sea and stands on a giant clamshell. But what if she was a frog? A frog is always good for a punchline.

Renaissance – Impressionism – Regionalism – Surrealism – Pop – Op

So many different styles of art — you might wonder how the different styles would react to each other. Imagine a painting coming down from the wall to join you on your the museum tour — for example, the woman and man in Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

American Gothic takes a tour of art museums.

They stop at Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase. Are they shocked by it? Bewildered? Or just plain tickled? You get to write the captions.

Then onto Cezanne’s table set with fruit and a skull.

  • We don’t set tables like that in Iowa.
  • I wouldn’t eat a bite at that man’s house.

The final stop for the American Gothic pair is the gallery with Picasso’s Femme Assise Pres D’une Fenêtre and Giocometti’s Pointing Man. What do they say about them?

  • Merle, those folks look plum sickly.
  • I hope the woman didn’t pay him for that picture.

And your punchline?

Cartoon characters take over the tour of art museums.

American Gothic has gone back to their place on the wall. As we continue our tour without them, what’s next? Maybe cartoon characters, like our cat, leap into the art, and knock out of the way the figures painted by the artist.

If you take a cat to tour an art museum it’s your own fault if the cat makes improvements — you should have known that. Morris Hirshfield’s Angora Cat doesn’t stand a chance.

Get off! This is my sofa now.

Our cat knows it’s good to let them worry now and then.

Abstract art is next on our tour of art museums. Is it art or a cartoon? 

Cartoons, like art, talk to us. What do you think these say to us — or about us?

A kid on a tour of art museums — the best punchlines 

So, let go and add a dash of fun to your tour of art museums. It’s no disrespect to the art and you might even gain greater appreciation if you look for the punchline. And remember — a frog is always good for a punchline.


To see these original works, here’s your guide to a tour of art museums.

  • Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli — Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
  • Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp — Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Femme Assise Pres D’une Fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse Walter) — Private collection
  • L’Homme au doigt (Pointing Man) by Alberto Giacometti — MOMA, New York City
  • Angora Cat by Morris Hirshfield — MOMA, New York City
  • Woman Before Aquarium by Henri Matisse — The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper — The Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali — MOMA, New York City

For more cartoons look at Life in the Funny Paper:

June 3, 2024