Designed by C. David Robinson Archiects, the outside of the building is quite subdued - even plain looking.

Please note: Pictures are only allowed in the main foyer and in the outside courtyard. Our thanks to C. David Robinson Architects for allowing us to reproduce some of their pictures. Photographers Richard Barnes and Ira Nowinski are credited next to their photos.

Also -- the Santa Rosa Press Democrat has a very well done map of the museum on their website.


Once inside, the theme of the entire interior design is introduced -- polished light woods, dark stone floors, glass and stainless steel accents, and off-white walls. Beautiful materials, sure, but also pretty serious. Looks more Joe Corporate than Joe Cool.

Admission - Adults $8.00 -- Youths $5.00

The museum shop [below left] is in the main foyer, and has a small assortment of merchandise -- most of which features their sort-of-fun-but-maybe-playing-it-a-bit-safe logo. [right below]

 

Imagine if the designer had used the famous Charlie Brown shirt zigzag motif for the logo. Slam dunk!

 

In the big main room, [below] the wood and stone theme is continued, with the large mosaic sculpture of Charlie Brown and Lucy taking center stage. This room is accented with bright red pillow-like seating -- more for design sake than actual use, and as a result it feels very austere and remote.

According to their website, the architects chose materials based on Schulz' Minnesota roots, and wanted to add the 'quiet humor and strong community evident in the comic strip' along with the 'comfortable ambiance of a residence.' None of that really comes across here.

The mosaic, created by Yoshiteru Otani, is made up of a series of actual size comic strips, which were transferred onto thousands of ceramic tiles. A closer view below, and you can start to see the individual comic strips.

As for the displays, the original Peanuts comic strips are drawn in black ink on white paper -- and they are relatively small - maybe 6" high by 18" long. Displayed on white walls, and intentionally dimly lit to save wear and tear, visitors find themselves huddling around each display and almost squinting. As we walked through the various rooms, visitors became very quiet and subdued. Downright serious. And in a museum devoted to Charlie Brown, this is not necessarily a good thing.

One display let us in on a bit of the creative process. Apparently to generate ideas for the strip, Schulz would scribble punch lines, sketches and notes on a yellow legal pad. At the end of each day, his secretary would fish out the crumbled pages from the trash can, take them home, flatten them out with an iron, and save them in a folder. Those ironed yellow pages are exhibited here next to the final comic strip. Very cool to be able to get a glimpse of the 'inside.'

 
   
 
 
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