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Three new exhibits celebrating the life and work of “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz open this year, ahead of his upcoming 100th birthday.
Charles Schulz – nicknamed Sparky – was born Nov. 26, 1922, in Minnesota, the Associated Press reported.
On May 21, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University in Columbus opened its “Celebrating Sparky: Charles M. Schulz and Peanuts” exhibit, which will run through November.
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Meanwhile, on March 20, the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, Calif., opened its first of two exhibits, “Spark Plug to Snoopy: 100 Years of Schulz,” which will run through September.
The Schulz Museum’s second exhibition, “The Spark of Schulz: A Centennial Celebration,” will open in September and run through March 2023.
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The first “Peanuts” comic was published on October 2, 1950, according to the Schulz Museum website.
By the time Schulz retired in 1999 — a year before his death on Feb. 12, 2000 — he had created and drawn 17,897 “Peanuts” comics, AP reported.
By that time, “Peanuts” had appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers, had been translated into 21 languages in 75 countries and had an estimated daily readership of 355 million, according to AP.
The comic also led to the creation of the play “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy: The Musical”, as well as several collections of books, specials and television shows, has AP reported.
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The Ohio exhibit “Celebrating Sparky” is a celebration of the beloved cartoonist’s “enduring legacy of his life and work”, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum says on its website.
AP reported that the exhibit also focuses on Schulz’s promotion of women’s rights and his introduction of a character of color, Franklin.
The exhibit also shows how Schulz worked to perfect his drawing style before the launch of “Peanuts.”
“He was a genius person who had a very clear and creative direction in his life and loved to make people laugh,” Lucy Shelton Caswell, founding curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, told AP.
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In California, the Schulz Museum’s “Spark Plug to Snoopy” exhibit focuses on the comics and artists who influenced Schulz’s work, while “The Spark of Schultz” will explore the cartoonists and artists who were influenced by Schulz, AP reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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