The Life of Charles M. Schulz

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“Your Art School” brochure, Art Instruction, Inc., 1950.
Charles M. Schulz Museum Archives, Santa Rosa, CA.


“Modern Illustrating, Including Cartooning, Division 3” manual, Art Instruction, Inc., 1945.
Charles M. Schulz Museum Archives, Santa Rosa, CA.

While attending Federal Schools (Art Instruction Schools), Schulz learned techniques in cartooning, portraiture, illustration, animal drawing, landscapes, and even business. During his years as an instructor, he was able to work on his own style and focus on the type of strip he hoped to someday syndicate.

Manuscript fragment, typed letter signed, Charles M. Schulz to Mr. Caspar Hagemans (showing instructor Schulz’s critique of student Hagemans work), August 21, 1947.
Charles M. Schulz Museum Archives, Santa Rosa, CA.

At Art Instruction, Schulz met fellow instructors, Charlie Brown, Linus Maurer, and Frieda Rich, all of whom would later inspire the names of some of the iconic characters of the Peanuts comic strip. He also met his future wife, Joyce, through her sister who worked at the school.

Interior shot of Art Instruction Schools, circa 1945.
Charles M. Schulz Museum Photography Collection, Santa Rosa, CA.

During their lunch breaks, Schulz would often meet up with his colleagues Dale Hale, Jim Sasseville, and Tony Pocrnich to shoot billiards. Schulz would eventually hire all three of these men to work as his assistant on the Peanuts comic books after Peanuts popularity was solidified by the mid-1950s. While Schulz never had assistants to help him conceive ideas, letter, or draw the Peanuts comic strip that appeared in newspapers, he did employ them to assist with the comic books.