A Museum Made for Peanuts | TahoeDailyTribune.com

A Museum Made for Peanuts

Floyd Johnson, Tahoe Daily Tribune cartoonist
Provided to the Tribune by Nord JohnsonTahoe Daily Tribune cartoonist Floyd Johnson stands by the sign on the grounds of the Charles M. Schulz Museum at Santa Rosa, Calif.

“A cartoonist is someone who has to draw something different every day and yet draw the same thing over and over.”

That quotation by Charles Schulz, creator of the world-famous comic strip “Peanuts”, is displayed on a large, simple panel which greets visitors to the lobby of this new museum created in his name and his legacy in Santa Rosa, Calif.

I was privileged to attend the grand opening of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center with my son, Nord, on Aug. 15. The museum is a delight, as is the collection of comic art and memorabilia.

The $8 million facility has 27,384 square feet in which to house and display so many related items, The main gallery displays dozens of original “Peanuts” comic strips from the archive collection of over 7,000. I couldn’t help but notice the happy, beaming faces of the viewing public.

A comfortable lounging area is provided to browse through albums of letters sent to Schulz. It was a treat reading those from schoolchildren, fellow artists, celebrities, and Presidents (Clinton and Reagan).

A video nook provides a large-screen TV to invite children to watch “Peanuts” animated cartoons.

A tribute gallery holds the work of other artists who have honored Schulz in their own way.

The Great Hall features a 22-foot high tile mural by Yoshiteru Otani and a 27-foot long carved wood sculpture showing the evolution of Snoopy’s image. The word “great” aptly names this area.

A 100-seat auditorium provides a theater setting for slide shows, lectures, and movies.

And so much more, a wonderful outdoor courtyard complete with Charlie Brown’s kite-eating tree, a reconstruction of Schulz’s art studio, an education center, and a research center.

The museum, outstanding as it is, would only be architecture if not for the wealth of its’ content: the artwork and this so-well-deserved tribute to the man, “Sparky” Schulz.

I have always enjoyed my life as a cartoonist. Now I feel honored to have this as my profession.

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