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Print - "What can you do? If it happens, it happens."
  • "What can you do? If it happens, it happens."
    Richler, Martha Marf
  • Enlarge image

"What can you do? If it happens, it happens."

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    2005 (made)
    11.07.2005 (printed and published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Richler, Martha Marf (artist)
    The Evening Standard (commissioned and published)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the artist

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case I, shelf 139, box II

This cartoon, a copy of the original drawing, appeared in the Evening Standard on 7 April 2004, and is artist Marf's take on the current news story. As she describes it: 'The threat of chemical attack on the tube haunts commuters as anti-terrorist squads rehearse their response in case of emergency. Headlines warn that terrorists may be plotting an attack, but most Londoners have no choice but to use the tube to get to work and take a philosophical “life must go on” approach... Major Gorman, the head of the anti-terrorist unit on the London Underground (owner of the original), requested that his name and rank be inscribed on the briefcase in the image.'

'Marf' drew daily topical cartoons for the Evening Standard between March 2002 and August 2005, moving to the Londoner's Diary page in August 2003. The drawings cover key political and social issues of the period, providing a vivid and often hilarious response to the main news of the day. The Evening Standard is London's only evening newspaper, publishing up to five editions a day. In Marf's own words: 'The cartoonist needs to keep up with the rapid pace of event.'

Physical description

Black and white print of a drawn cartoon showing the interior of a Tube train. Three commuters, two female and one male, sit with anxious expressions as they look at another commuter with briefcase, who is wearing a protective suit and gas mask.

Place of Origin

London (made)


2005 (made)
11.07.2005 (printed and published)


Richler, Martha Marf (artist)
The Evening Standard (commissioned and published)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Written in pen top left

"What can you do? If it happens, it happens."
Written in pen across bottom; title to piece

Artist signature bottom right of image

21 [in circle]
Written in black biro twice on transparent protective sheet, top right and bottom right

Written in pencil,top right

Sign, part of image

ORIGINAL PRINT by MARF / original drawing belongs to / [inscribed with names of owners] / [copyright sign] MARF 2003
Written in pencil on reverse, top left

ORIGINAL PRINT [underlined]
Written in pencil top centre of transparent protective sheet


Height: 29.6 cm, Width: 42 cm

Object history note

Donated by the artist. Original print by MARF. Original drawing belongs to Harold Pinter, playwright, and Lady Antonia Fraser, historian.

Descriptive line

Reproduction of a cartoon, "What can you do? If it happens, it happens." by 'Marf' (Martha Richler), published in The Evening Standard, 11th July 2005; London.

Production Note

Attribution note: reproduction taken by artist of original drawing
Reason For Production: Commission


Ink; Paper



Subjects depicted

Chemical suit; Suits; Logos; Train; Gas mask; Handbag; Briefcases; Signs


Drawings; Caricatures & Cartoons

Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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