A Peek into Schulz’s Life: The Early Years

Have there been elves in the museum now that visitors are absent? What are our cases doing in the Great Hall? Is this a new arrangement of displays?

The elves, in fact, are our hard-working staff busy taking advantage of the vacant halls. What you see above are our old display cases from the Biographical Gallery upstairs. And what you see below are our new and improved biographical display cases.

Here is a first look at the new Biographical Gallery on the second floor of the Museum.

It is subtle, but you can see that the new cases have multiple drawers, giving us much more space to display artifacts while limiting light exposure.

The Early Years (1922–1942) biographical case sets the scene, introducing Sparky’s family and covering his childhood years.

The corner of Selby and Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota, circa 1932. The framed photograph was mounted inside Charles M. Schulz’s office. The striped pole of The Family Barbershop can be seen directly under the streetlight on the corner. Image © Minnesota Historical Society. Obj. ID 2012.021.148c1.

We can see the corner of Selby and Snelling and the barbershop where Sparky’s father, Carl Schulz, cut hair from the 1930s and into the 1960s when he retired.

Interior of The Family Barbershop, circa 1930. The photograph shows owner Carl Schulz at the forefront and three of his employees posing behind barbers chairs. Image © Anderson-Schulz Collection. Obj. ID SC2004.007.013.

Visiting his father in the barbershop gave Sparky a close look at his father’s work ethic and his commitment to his clients and his fellow barbers. Sparky would carry these characteristics with him into his own career.

The second drawer houses an extensive family tree.

The third drawer contains some of the artifacts of Sparky’s early sporting life. Even though he loved sitting at the kitchen table drawing and copying cartoons, he was also an active child who played baseball, hockey, and golf—and he would continue to do so for the rest of his life.

The In the Service (1942–1945) case covers four very formative years in Sparky’s life. You can glimpse the historical timeline on the wall behind this case. I will be discussing the contents of this display case in my next blog post.

Be sure to look for future additions and updates to this blog post!

—Jean Schulz