Yesterday I posted that I learned about the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA. Well, today I made a point to find it and go to it before I headed to my hotel for the night. I am very, very glad that I did go to the Museum because it was great. Snoopy and the Peanuts gang has always been a favorite of mine. Ever since I was a little kid. I was very excited to learn more about the life of Charles M. Schulz. What I learned was that he was a simple, dedicated man who did the same thing every day but kept things fresh and new.
At the museum there were two commissioned pieces of work that were amazing. The largest was a title mural made from 3588 ceramic tiles of Schulz’s works from 1956-1988. This mural was done by Yoshiteru Otani. Here is the mural from far out to close up. It is amazing.
The other commissioned work was titled Morphing Snoopy. This work is huge and starts with Spike, Schulz’s childhood beagle and inspiration for Snoopy to and through the many incarnations of Snoopy over the years. I had to shoot it in three pieces.
I walked through the exhibits and took pictures in the areas where photos were allowed. Outside the gallery, and in the courtyard. I also read through some scrapbooks including one that had letters from people expressing their condolences at Sparky’s passing (Sparky was a nickname for Charles M. Schulz from 2 days old on and he is often referred to with that nickname.) It was at this point and during many other areas that I got choked up. Charles Schulz was my favorite cartoonist ever. I’ve been collecting the books of all of his through fantagraphics and I also picked up a book called Charles M. Schulz: Conversations. I can’t wait to read this on the flight home.
There is also a 100 seat theater at the Museum and I watched a film called Peanuts Gallery which was about Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. She created a piece called Peanuts Gallery for Piano and Orchestra. It premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1997. And since that time it has been played by such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra. There are six movements int he piece: Schroederâ€™s Beethoven Fantasy, Lullaby for Linus, Snoopy Does the Samba, Charlie Brownâ€™s Lament, Lucy Freaks Out, and Peppermint Patty and Marcie Lead the Parade. In each movement she captures the essence of the characters and it is amazing. I wanted to be able to buy that on CD but it was not for sale int he gift shop. It is certainly something that I’d like to take Allison and Eva to see if it is ever done near us.
What touched me most about this was that Charles Schulz created characters that everyone could relate to and did it consistently for 50 years. He was a man who loved his community and did some amazing things with such a simple concept, a cartoon. His passion for cartooning touched the lives of people from all over the world. He is one of my heroes. Here are the rest of the photos I took at the museum and one that was taken of me.
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