Behind Peanuts: The Little Red-Haired Girl
January 31—August 4, 2019
Charlie Brown’s unrequited love, The Little Red-Haired Girl, was inspired by Donna Mae Johnson-Wold, the real-life first love of Charles M. Schulz. He met Donna working at his former correspondence school, Art Instruction, Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After a six-month courtship, Donna turned down Schulz’s marriage proposal in favor of another suitor. Schulz mined this rich vein of experience, like he did with much of his life, telling stories with deep emotional resonance to readers in dozens of languages, for decades. See the story behind the story through original art, photographs, and interviews of Charlie Brown’s unrequited love: The Little Red-Haired Girl.
August 9, 2018–January 27, 2019
Dogs were always part of Charles Schulz’s life, and he and his wife, Jean, also championed the working dogs among us: the canines who assist the disabled, search for and rescue people affected by disasters, give help to first responders, herd livestock, and offer us their unconditional love. In this new exhibition the Museum celebrates these four-legged heroes as Schulz portrayed them in Peanuts. With Snoopy’s many personas – Attorney, Flying Ace, Grocery Clerk, Hired Hand – Schulz paid tribute to how much better life is when we share the working day with dogs.
50 Years of Franklin
January 13–August 5, 2018
Shortly after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Los Angeles schoolteacher Harriet Glickman wrote to Charles Schulz about integrating the world of Peanuts. She believed that the popular comic strip could help shape American attitudes on race. The result of their correspondence was the character of Franklin, introduced to Peanuts fans in the summer of 1968. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Franklin’s poignant debut with an engaging display of correspondence between Mrs. Glickman and Charles M. Schulz, paired with the original comic strips that became a cultural benchmark in American comic history.
Behind Peanuts: Pigpen
July 27, 2017–January 7, 2018
In spite of his popularity with fans, Pigpen was featured in just over 100 of the 17,897 Peanuts comic strips that Schulz created. Generating new storylines suited to Pigpen’s messiness proved challenging for Schulz, who explained, “Usually, I just run out of ideas for him, but somehow he keeps hanging in there.” From his 1954 debut, to his last appearance in 1999, Pigpen evolved in the way that Schulz portrayed his dirtiness. Through a display of original sketches, comic strips and ephemera, discover the creative ways Schulz brought Pigpen, with his cloud of dust in tow, into the world of Peanuts.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
February 23–July 23, 2017
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, which is recognized as one of the most performed musicals in the history of American theatre. The musical theatre production debuted at Theatre 80 St. Marks in New York City on March 7, 1967 and at the Little Fox Theater in San Francisco on June 1, 1967. Celebrate the long-running success of this acclaimed stage production with original letters, sheet music, and playbills from the Museum archives.
Snoopy Presents: Lucky Dogs and Presidential Pets
June 30, 2016–February 19, 2017
Did you know that President John Quincy Adams had an alligator living in the White House? Hundreds of pets have lived alongside American presidents, including a hyena, a goat, a raccoon, and even a one-legged rooster! Enjoy photos and fun facts about presidential pets and items on special loan from Presidential libraries, such as the collar and leash of President Franklin Roosevelt’s dog, Fala, and a painting of Rex, the Reagan family dog.
The Peanuts Movie: From Schulz’s Pen Line to the Big Screen
September 18, 2015–June 26, 2016
This holiday season, 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios will present The Peanuts Movie in theaters worldwide. This marks the big-screen debut of Charlie Brown and the Gang in state-of-the art 3D animation. Take a look behind-the-scenes at how Blue Sky Studios met the challenge of bringing Schulz’s characters to life, while remaining faithful to his characteristic pen line and style.
January 14–September 13, 2015
Schulz proudly wrote, drew, and lettered every Peanuts strip. He did, however, employ cartoonists who assisted him with other cartoon endeavors such as his sports-related comic strip It’s Only a Game and Peanuts comic books. Learn about Jim Sasseville, Dale Hale, and the artists of Charles M. Schulz Museum Creative Associates, who have attempted to capture Schulz’s indefinable line. The cartoon above from May 25, 1958 was written by Schulz and drawn by Jim Sasseville.
Journey to the Reuben: The Early Years
July 9, 2014–January 4, 2015
The Reuben Award is the highest honor bestowed annually by the National Cartoonist Society. Schulz was the first artist to receive this recognition twice—once in 1955, and again in 1964. Examine the years leading up to Schulz’s acceptance of this prestigious professional accolade through his early cartoons for The Saturday Evening Post, and rare Peanuts strips from the 1950s.
Evolution of the Comic Strip
March 5–September 7, 2014
“Cartoonists have to be very much aware of their medium.” – Charles M. Schulz
For Charles Schulz, the process of creating a Peanuts strip began with an idea. Following his thoughtful construction of original ink panels, the comic strip then passed through numerous stages before finally landing on the pages of daily newspapers across the globe. Evolution of the Comic Strip features original printing plates, contact sheets, and documentary photographs illustrating the process of publishing syndicated comics before the digital era.
September 4, 2013–March 2, 2014
This exhibition is for everyone who remembers the endless grind of book reports, show and tell, and science and art projects in elementary school. School Projects follows the trials and tribulations of Sally, Peppermint Patty, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang, as they struggle through a typical school year.
Art of the Line
February 20–September 1, 2013
Schulz took great pride in producing an aesthetically pleasing and well-designed comic strip. He knew exactly what he was looking for in the design of a Peanuts comic strip but found the explanation of the process elusive: “it’s as difficult as explaining what a poem is about,” he said. Learn more about Schulz’s process from the tools he used to the research he undertook in this exhibition of original comic strips, photographs, and research material.
The Art of Peanuts Animation
October 3, 2012–February 17, 2013
Scheduled to coincide with the launch of the new Chronicle book on Peanuts animation, the exhibition will showcase the Museum’s collection of animation cels and production drawings. Many of these never-before-exhibited animation cels are very rare; the exhibitions will feature donated cels that were salvaged from the 1966 Coffee Lane fire, including several cels from A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966).
“It’s a Fine Line”
April 4–August 6, 2012
Many cartoon artists, fans, and critics have waxed eloquent about the art of Charles Schulz. “It’s a Fine Line” represents a departure from the usual museum interpretation, as Schulz speaks for himself on his technique, equipment, and frustrations. Schulz spoke about his art in a number of interviews and articles. In conjunction with excerpts from some of those interviews is a display of Schulz’s “tools of the trade,” examples of his technique and a look at how his pen line changed over the years due to health considerations.