Pop culture changes so much from one generation to the next, but one constant remains — the joy children of all ages get from the Peanuts comics. Santa Rosa, California, is home to a lovely little museum, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, that celebrates and preserves the creations of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.
The artwork on display at this fun and nostalgic museum is a combination of works by Schulz himself, as well as other artists from around the world who created pieces inspired by Charlie Brown and friends.
Some highlights of the museum’s permanent collection are the Snoopy Labyrinth, a winding garden hedge maze designed in the shape of the famous beagle’s head, and the Peanuts Tile Mural, a wall-sized mosaic made from more than 3,500 individual tiles printed with Peanuts comic strips and depicting an iconic image of Lucy holding a football as Charlie Brown prepares to kick it.
Visitors young and old will enjoy a visit to this museum as the work on display depicts images of the Peanuts gang throughout the years — especially true with pieces like the “Morphing Snoopy” wood sculpture. This piece, designed by Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani, is made of 43 layers of cut wood portraying Snoopy’s evolution throughout the years. Some of the images within the piece include Snoopy dancing, typing, sitting atop his dog house, and even Spike, Charles Schulz’s dog, the original inspiration for the cartoon character.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped and accompanied by statues of Peanuts figures, a Snoopy topiary and other quirky little touches offering sentimental memoriam to the beloved characters. This outdoor area provides visitors with a peaceful space to relax and enjoy an afternoon with familiar friends that many of us grew up with.
The museum offers a number of tours designed for each visitor to get the most out of their experience. There is a basic museum tour, a research center tour and an ASL interpreted tour. The museum also offers its Tactile and Descriptive Tour, designed for those with vision impairments, and also offers sensitivity kits for visiting guests on the autism spectrum.
Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for kids aged 4–18. Children under 3 receive free admission. The museum is open daily during the summer and is closed Tuesdays the rest of the year.
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