‘Peanuts’ Creator Charles Schulz to Be Honored on 100th Birthday With Special Exhibits

by Emily Morgan

In celebration of Charles Schulz, the mastermind behind the “Peanuts” comic, new exhibits will be unveiled. It comes in recognition of what would have been his 100th birthday. 

Three new exhibits will honor the life and work of the creator. He developed the iconic comic strip that others would later adapt for the screen. Schulz, also known as Sparky, was born on November 26, 1922, in Minnesota. Cartoonists today still regard him as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time. 

In recognition of the legend, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University in Columbus opened its exhibit “Celebrating Sparky: Charles M. Schulz and Peanuts,” which will run through November. It opened on May 21. 

Previously, the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, opened its first of two exhibits, “Spark Plug to Snoopy: 100 Years of Schulz.” Those exhibits opened in March and will run through September.

The Schulz museum’s second exhibit, “The Spark of Schulz: A Centennial Celebration,” will also open in September. It will run through March of 2023. According to the Schulz Museum website, Schulz published his debut “Peanuts” comic strip decades ago, on October 2, 1950. 

Multiple exhibits seek to celebrate life and work of ‘Peanuts’ creator

According to reports, by the time Schulz reached retirement in 1999, he had created and drawn 17,897 “Peanuts” comic strips. He would pass away one year later, on February 12, 2000, at 77 in California. Per reports, before his death, the classic comic had run in more than 2,600 newspapers. It was also translated into 21 languages in 75 countries, and 355 million considered themselves daily readers of the comic. 

In addition, the comic strip also led to various adaptations in entertainment. The comic strip led to the play “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy: The Musical.” It also was adapted for several books and TV specials.

According to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum website, the Ohio exhibit “Celebrating Sparky” celebrates the iconic cartoonist’s “lasting legacy of his life and work.”

Additionally, the exhibit also looks at Schulz’s advocacy of women’s rights and Franklin, who was his first African American character. Attendees will also get to see how Schulz was a perfectionist with his work before the debut of “Peanuts.” 

“This was a person of genius who had a very clear, creative focus to his life, and enjoyed making people laugh,” Lucy Shelton Caswell, founding curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, said in an interview. 

In California, the Schulz Museum’s “Spark Plug to Snoopy” exhibit highlights the comic strips and artists that influenced Schulz’s work. “The Spark of Schultz” will also explore cartoonists and artists who Schulz influenced, according to reports from the AP.