The Charles M. Schultz Museum

The Charles M. Schultz Museum
Although “Sparky” Schultz was born and raised in Minnesota, he moved to Sebastopol, California in 1958 and lived in Northern California until his death in 2000. In nearby Santa Rosa, where the artist moved to in 1969, the Charles M. Schultz Museum honors his comic legacy and provides place to learn and celebrate the man and his creation, Peanuts.

Within the city of Santa Rosa, sculptures of Peanuts characters grace the sidewalks. There is a bronze statue of Charlie Brown and his dog Snoopy in the city’s Railroad Square; in addition, there are fiberglass sculptures of the Peanuts gang along the streets. Because Schultz preferred to live without recognition, there are no statues of the man himself. “Sparky” is memorialized by the children he created, who live on between the pages of collections and in the hearts of children of all ages.

At the museum, the visitor is greeted by a labyrinth in the shape of Snoopy’s head and more sculptures of Peanuts characters. The building itself is comfortable and without ostentation, designed to demonstrate the homey feel of the comic strip and the preferred lifestyle of its creator. Within the main hall, a tile mural created by Yoshiteru Otani takes up an entire wall. Composed entirely from individual Peanuts strips, the mural features Lucy holding a football with Charlie Brown attempting the kick yet again.

The permanent exhibitions include a tribute sculpture by Christo in the shape of Snoopy’s doghouse, a ‘backyard’ area with a replica of the kite-eating tree, and a re-creation of the studio where Schultz drew. Even the bathrooms can be considered exhibit space, as they are tiled with individual comic strips from the series.

One of the highlights of the museum is a nursery wall painted in 1951. At the time, the Schultz family lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After the family moved, the house was sold and the wall painted over. In 2001, the restored artwork was donated to the Schultz museum. It is a wonderful example of Shultz’ developing artistry.

Changing exhibitions highlight different themes in the collection, such as ice skating or strips about love. The museum also houses a research center for those who wish to delve more deeply into the art and life of Peanuts and of Charles M. Schultz. Open by appointment, this is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to spend more time with Schultz’ artwork.

The museum generously lends parts of the collection out as traveling exhibitions. These can be rented by small or medium museums wishing to bring the artwork of Peanuts to those who cannot travel to Santa Rosa; currently, several are on display in various venues around the United States; they can be rented by small and medium museums wishing to bring the artwork of Peanuts locally. In addition, visitors can access an online repository which provides the Internet viewer with random artwork and items accessible by keyword searches.

The museum also houses a research center for those who wish to delve more deeply into the art and life of Peanuts and of Charles M. Schultz. Open by appointment, this is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to spend more time with Schultz’ artwork.

The museum is an hour’s drive north of San Francisco and is open daily during the summer months. During the rest of the year, the museum is closed on Tuesday. There is a cost of $10.00 for entrance. Group discounts are available. A hidden gem, the Charles M. Schultz museum is an enjoyable experience and well worth a traveler’s time.




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Content copyright © 2018 by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. . All rights reserved.
This content was written by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. . If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. for details.