Oh, Good Grief! Inside the Charles M. Schulz Museum

Having opened on August 17, 2002 – two years after beloved cartoonist Charles M. Schulz passed – the museum in his honor continues to thrive. Located in Santa Rosa, California – Schulz’s hometown from 1958 until his death in 2000 – the Charles M. Schulz Museum can be found near the artist’s Redwood Empire Ice Arena (now known at Snoopy’s Home ice) and the Warm Puppy Café (named after you-know-who). It features a number of permanent exhibits and installations in addition to three changing gallery spaces.

The newest exhibit, Single-Panel Peanuts, just opened earlier this month. It is a celebration of sorts when in 1988, Charles was allowed to draw single-panel comics instead of the traditional four-framed comics. The exhibit aims to share in Schulz’s freedom of constraints while also going back to his roots as a single panel cartoon artist. The new exhibit runs through November 6, 2023.

The two other temporary exhibits, The Pen is Mighty: The Lettering of Charles M. Schulz (sharing how his hand-lettering was an extension to his drawings) and Kite-Flying Foibles (focusing soley on Charlie Brown’s battle of trying to fly a kite and the evil kite-eating tree) continue through July 9 and September 17 respectively.

The Schulz Museum permanent exhibits include:

Schulz’s Re-created Studio
This permanent installation, on the second floor of the Museum, is a re-creation of Schulz’s working area in his studio at One Snoopy Place in Santa Rosa, California. It contains the drawing board he used almost from the beginning of his career and his desk. The shelves and walls include his personal books, gifts, photos, and memorabilia.

Wrapped Snoopy House
An admirer of the extraordinary environmental artworks by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Schulz paid tribute to the artists in a 1978 Peanuts comic strip. Twenty-five years later, Christo returned the compliment by creating Wrapped Snoopy House, a life-sized doghouse wrapped in tarpaulin, polyethylene, and ropes, and presenting it to Jean Schulz for permanent display at the Museum.

Peanuts Tile Mural
The Peanuts Tile Mural by Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani measures slightly larger than 17 x 22 feet, and covers the south wall of the Great Hall. It features an image of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown and is composed of 3,588 Peanuts comic strip images printed on individual 2 x 8 inch ceramic tiles.

(Charles M. Schulz Museum)

Morphing Snoopy Wood Sculpture
Otani also designed what looks like a bas relief sculpture. Morphing Snoopy is composed of 43 layers that have been shaped and cut to reveal the evolving personas of Snoopy, beginning with Spike, Schulz’s childhood pet and inspiration for the world famous beagle.

Nursery Wall
On September 10, 2001, the Museum received a unique donation: a wall of original Schulz art from the Colorado Springs home of Polly and Stanley Travnicek. The wall, which includes images of Snoopy when he still bounded around on all fours and Charlie Brown jumping over a candlestick, was painted by Schulz when he and his young family lived in their Colorado Springs bungalow in 1951.

Museum Theater
With a current schedule of Peanuts animated specials, biographical films and interviews featuring Schulz and other cartoonists, visitors are invited to have a cinematic experience learning about Schulz, watching beloved Peanuts animated specials and creating new memories with friends and family.

Snoopy Labyrinth
Located outside, the Snoopy Labyrinth features a single winding path in the shape of Snoopy’s head. Designed by Lea Goode-Harris of Santa Rosa Labyrinth Foundation, the path was designed as a journey of self-discovery and to bring joy to visitors as they enter at the base of Snoopy’s neck and finish at Snoopy’s ear.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum is open every day except Tuesdays. It is located at 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

Main Image: The entry to the Charles M. Schultz Museum

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