The Cartoon Art Museum

Given the surging popularity of cartoons on TV and in the movies, it’s fairly clear that most of us never outgrow our love for this art form. If you’re a ‘toon aficionado and are heading to the Bay Area, make sure to schedule last least part of a day to visit the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens District. It is the only museum dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in the western U.S. and has something for everyone to see and do. This museum was founded in 1984 by a group of cartoon enthusiasts. Like the art form featured throughout the facility, it has evolved in stages from fairly modest beginnings to the state-of-the-art facility it is today. The Museum received a significant financial boost early on from Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, who was instrumental in helping the collection grow and find a permanent home at 655 Mission Street after a few years of rotating exhibits in other San Francisco museums.

The Museum is home to over 6,000 pieces of original cartoon and animation art, an exhaustive research library and five galleries of exhibition space for permanent and rotating exhibits. It hosts ten major exhibitions each year and many other interesting events, where guests and fans can meet artists, hear them talk about their work and, in some cases, participate in Advanced Master Classes led by legendary artists. Speaking of classes, the museum offers public education programs, weekend workshops, tours and field trips, outreach and after-school programs at Bay Area schools and many other educational opportunities for cartoon artists at all levels of experience and accomplishment. Museum instructors also offer private lessons taught on the premises in a variety of cartoon art disciplines.

The museum can be booked for birthday parties, which include a tour of the museum, as well as a cartooning class. Artists who are ready to take the next step after school can apply for internships offered throughout the year, where they can teach guests as well as learn from museum instructors. If you’d like to visit this marvelous facility, it is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and tickets are a very affordable $7. The first Tuesday of every month is Pay What You Wish Day for groups of ten or fewer guests. The museum is closed on all Mondays, New Year’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

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