Readers may well wonder what this flier is all about; it is a departure from our usual traveling exhibitions. This exhibition, Lucy Van Pelt: Director of Everything, exhibited in the Heong Gallery at Downing College, Cambridge, UK, came about because of a personal connection with the college.
Downing was my father’s college from which he graduated in 1916 after volunteering in the British Army in 1914 and rising to the rank of major.
Lucy Van Pelt: Director of Everything celebrates 40 years of female students attending the formerly all-male campus. It is a time to celebrate.
Fortunately, one of my family members lives in Cambridge, and we were happy to have a couple of hours together. I had visited with Anne and Mike Williams two years ago when I first went to Downing College to discuss the Heong Gallery exhibition. Anne is my father’s granddaughter and my niece.
The drama students of Downing College performed several skits to an audience of donors and friends. They were all very talented. Lucy was perfect, Charlie Brown was an incredible gymnast (his flailing legs look like Sparky’s cartoon drawing), and Schroeder was the perfect, implacable accompanist. I don’t think I have ever seen a more convincing Lucy or witnessed a better cast of characters.
The standout of the performance was Charlie Brown whose football misses were accomplished in perfect animation.
Snoopy, who also doubled as Linus, read erudite commentary from the catalog about Charles Schulz and was characteristically above it all.
Melissa Menta (friend and senior vice president of marketing for Peanuts Worldwide LLC) and I did a question-and-answer session led by the Heong Gallery’s exhibitions and programming manager, Dr. Prerona Prasad, taking pre-submitted and ad-hoc questions from the audience.
I think how amazed and proud my father would be at this rather amazing turn of events. It shows me that life is full of wonderful surprises if you will meet them.