‘Peanuts’ Museum Sets Opening Date

By: Dave Astor

The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center is scheduled to open Aug. 17 in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Located near the studio where the “Peanuts” creator worked until his February 2000 death, the 27,384-square-foot museum will have several unusual features. They include:

* A mural, by Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani, of Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. It consists of 3,588 tiles, each with a different cartoon image.

* A 7,000-pound sculpture, also by Otani, showing the evolution of Snoopy.

* A wall of original Schulz art relocated from a Colorado home he lived in during 1951, the year after United Feature Syndicate launched “Peanuts.” The wall was in his daughter Meredith’s nursery.

There will also be galleries with permanent and changing exhibits of original “Peanuts” comics and memorabilia, a research library and archives, a recreation of Schulz’s studio, a Snoopy labyrinth, a 100-seat auditorium, and more.

Jean Schulz, widow of the cartoonist, is president of the museum (http://www.charlesmschulzmuseum.org).

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IMCA May Move To Connecticut


Small Section Remains Open In Florida

The International Museum of Cartoon Art is still in the state of Florida, but also in a state of flux.

Boca Raton-based IMCA’s gift shop remains open, and some cartoons are exhibited there. But most of the museum’s 160,000-plus originals are now stored in a Connecticut warehouse.

IMCA founder and “Beetle Bailey” creator Mort Walker has a tentative deal to sell the building for $2.75 million to Boca developer David Ross. The plan is for a 140-room hotel, incorporating the museum structure, that Lynn University would use for training hospitality students.

But the city of Boca Raton, which owns the land the museum sits on, has to approve any different use for the site. At an April 8 meeting of Boca’s Community Redevelopment Agency, “We were given permission to go ahead and explore” the hotel deal, said Walker. But final city approval could be months away.

The $2.75 million would pay IMCA’s debts, which include money from Walker’s personal funds and a loan from an anonymous benefactor that saved the museum from foreclosure last year. Hopefully, Walker said, there will be some money left to keep things going until the museum reopens at another locale.

Walker said a May 8 meeting with Yale University officials is scheduled to discuss possibly bringing the museum to the New Haven, Conn., campus, where the plan would be for it to first share gallery space and then eventually have its own space. If that doesn’t work out, Walker said Norwalk, Conn., is a possible IMCA site.

Will some of the collection return to donors if Yale and Norwalk fall through? “We have many other offers” from locales that would like the museum, said Walker.

But the 78-year-old King Features Syndicate cartoonist added that any offer would have to be one that doesn’t involve him doing the thousands of hours of fund-raising and other work he devoted to the museum — which started in 1974, was located in New York state for a number of years, and then officially opened in Boca in 1996.

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Tom Toles Named At ‘Washington Post’


He Is Succeeding the Late Herblock

The Washington Post named Tom Toles to replace Herbert Block, who died last October after more than 50 years at the paper.

Toles, a 1990 Pulitzer Prize winner from The Buffalo (N.Y.) News and Universal Press Syndicate, will take over what may be the most prestigious editorial cartooning job in the country.

“I figure what I do will have a larger impact there than any other place I could be doing it,” Toles told Post writer Howard Kurtz.

The liberal cartoonist grew up in the Buffalo area, joined the Buffalo Courier-Express in 1973, and moved to the News in 1982 when the C-E folded.

Toles, 50, will start at the Post after his two teenagers finish the school year.

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Syndicated Pulitzer Recipients


Bennett, Friedman Have News Service Ties

This year’s Pulitzer Prize winners include two creators with supplemental wire connections.

Clay Bennett’s Christian Science Monitor editorial cartoons are distributed by the Christian Science Monitor News Service and Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column is part of the New York Times News Service.

Other editorial cartoon-category finalists were Ben Sargent of the Austin American-Statesman and Universal Press Syndicate, and Marshall Ramsey of The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., and Copley News Service.

One of the commentary runners-up was Nat Hentoff of The Village Voice, New York City, and Newspaper Enterprise Association.

Coverage of the Pulitzers appeared last week on E&P Online.




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