Local Fun: Charles M. Schulz Museum
I’ve loved the Peanuts comic strip my whole life. It’s one of those rare media that has grown with me; when I review strips I enjoyed when I was little, unsuspected layers reveal themselves.
We are very lucky to have the official museum of the works of Charles M. Schulz right here in Santa Rosa. Founded in August of 2002 (watch the Museum’s site for upcoming 10th anniversary events), its mission is not only to show Schulz’s work, but increase understanding of cartoonists and cartoon art, and to do all of this in an atmosphere true to his character and that of his creations. This includes events both children and adults can enjoy.
The building, with its sun-splashed rooms and beautiful grounds, is a fitting home for Mr. Schulz’s legacy and a treasure to our community.
The Museum’s collections, in addition to over 7,000 original Peanuts comic strips, include:
- 900 original drawings and sketches by Schulz throughout his life, including non-Peanuts artwork
- Personal effects belonging to Schulz, including art tools, sporting equipment, and artwork by other artists that Schulz collected
- Multimedia, including animated specials and films, documentaries and interviews, video and computer games, music, and more
- Historic licensed products, including dolls, plush toys, games, collectibles and merchandise dating back to the 1950s
Also, the Museum supports the community by facilitating field trips for schools and homeschoolers. Classes in cartooning, animation, character design, and other arts are offered throughout the year for children and adults. A recent master cartooning class for children, given by New York Times best-selling cartoonist Lincoln Peirce, was sold out in advance.
Included at the museum, you will find:
- A re-creation of Schulz’s working studio, including his drawing board and desk
- A wrapped Snoopy house, memorializing an incident in a 1978 strip
- A labyrinth on the Museum’s grounds, shaped like Snoopy’s head
- A ceramic tile mosaic by Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani made up of 3,588 Peanuts comics and forming the image of Charlie Brown preparing to kick the football before Lucy yanks it away
- A wall of original art painted by Schulz in Colorado Springs in 1951, showing earlier versions of several Peanuts characters
- A wood sculpture, Morphing Snoopy, also by Yoshiteru Otani, showing the evolution of everyone’s favorite beagle over the years
The Museum is located at 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, California 95403. See Museum website for admission costs and hours.
20th February–1st September 2013—Art of the Line
This exhibition focuses on Schulz’s deceptively simple esthetic and how he developed it. Sample artwork, photographs, and research material document his process.
30th February—Kids get in FREE all day
Enjoy free admission to the Museum all day!
by Jim Marcolina
While you’re there, be sure to go next door and visit Snoopy’s Home Ice for some old fashioned winter fun, and stop into the Warm Puppy Cafe for some of the best hot chocolate in the county! (Especially Peppermint Patty’s mint hot chocolate. Yum!) ~editor