The Life of Charles M. Schulz

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While living in their house in Colorado Springs, Charles Schulz painted a whimsical mural on the wall in daughter Meredith’s bedroom. The wall included early illustrations of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and Patty, as well as many other amusing characters and objects to entertain a young child. After the Schulz’s left Colorado, they sold the house and it changed hands several times over the years until it was eventually purchased by Stanley and Mary “Polly” Travnicek in 1979.

After moving into 2321 North El Paso Street, the Travnicek’s soon learned from neighbors that the Schulz family had previously owned the house. Neighbors also told tales of a wonderful mural; these stories piqued Polly Travnicek’s curiosity and she began to search for the mural, which had been painted over multiple times by this point. Travnicek set about carefully uncovering the mural and even contacted Charles Schulz himself to confirm what type of paint he used so that she wouldn’t destroy the artwork. It took her three months to safely expose the entire 8-by-12-foot wall painting. Over the years, the Travnicek family would open their home to share with visitors the rare Schulz mural in their home.

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In 2001, the Travniceks generously donated the entire painted wall to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, which was set to open in 2002. A team of contractors, designers, conservators, museum staff, and others were assembled to carefully cut the wall out of the house and transport it from Colorado to California. Although Polly Travnicek had been successful in removing much of the paint over twenty years earlier, the wall was also assessed and treated by professional conservators after it arrived in Santa Rosa. It was permanently installed on the museum’s second floor and over a decade later, it remains one of the most popular works in the galleries. Visitors thoroughly enjoy learning about the painstaking efforts that Polly Travnicek took to uncover the characters and the bigheartedness of the Travniceks in sharing this rare work with the world through its display at the Schulz Museum.