Constructing Charlie… PAD #1153

Constructing Charlie... PAD #1153

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.

Charlie Brown and Lucy Mural

Charlie Brown and Lucy Mural

Charlie Brown and Lucy Mural

Charlie Brown and Lucy Mural

Charlie Brown and Lucy Mural

Charlie Brown and Lucy Mural

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.

Morphing Snoopy

Morphing Snoopy

Morphing Snoopy

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: Schroeder’s Beethoven Fantasy, Lullaby for Linus, Snoopy Does the Samba, Charlie Brown’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.

Me at the Charle's M. Schulz Museum

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19 thoughts on “Constructing Charlie… PAD #1153”

  1. Snoopy’s my favorite character among the bunch! And I like the name Charlie =)
    Thanks for sharing this…amazing work of Charles Schulz!

    Thess’s last blog post..Garden Snail

  2. Thanks Thess,
    Snoopy is my favorite as well although I am more Charlie Brown than any of the other characters.

  3. Karen,
    You are welcome. I find him to be fascinating and spent most of my flight home reading the book I bought at the museum. It is full of interviews that he did over the years.

  4. Hey Olga,
    You had spelled your name wrong and so the comments went to the approval queue. It is really awesome to know that someone had been to the rink as a kid and enjoyed their time there. How awesome that you met him. I sincerely wish I had met him in my life.

  5. Hi Jonny,
    I think your wife, sister or girlfriend, Ms. Music also commented on another post. Or do you have a split personality.

    But that aside I agree that the comic is one of the all time best.

  6. Dear Drew,

    Thanks for such a great response to Ellen’s piece. Everyone here at Theodore Presser (her publisher) love Peanuts Gallery, and so do many orchestras! We have linked to your blog from our home page (hopefully that is OK with you!). Also, our records indicate that the Santa Rosa Symphony has rented the music for Peanuts Gallery for a July 22nd performance. You may want to check that out! Thanks again.

  7. Hello Brendan,
    It always amazes me when my posts are found and linked. I loved the Peanuts Gallery piece and was glad to tell many people about it. I wish I lived in Santa Rosa so I could go see this performed live. However I am in MA. So if the Boston Pops do it that would be awesome! Thanks for the link that is perfectly fine to do and thanks for quoting me as well. Wow.

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