CHARLIE BROWN AND THE GREAT EXHIBIT OPENS
AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY, CHICAGO
Discover the legacy of famed cartoonist Charles Schulz and his Peanuts gang
Chicago, Ill. (Oct. 25, 2012)—Take a peek into Peanuts in Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit—a new temporary exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI)—from Oct. 25, 2012 to Feb. 18, 2013.
Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit explores Schulz’s personal history and his role as the sole inspiration and artistic talent behind Peanuts and its unique cast of characters. Schulz revolutionized the comic strip and profoundly affected cartoon history with his dedication to the art, wit, and wisdom of Peanuts. For nearly 50 years he researched, wrote, designed, and drew each strip that appeared in daily and Sunday newspapers.
The exhibit provides guests with an in-depth look into the life and early career of Schulz; the development and evolution of iconic characters including, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus; and the various holiday-themed strips—Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day—during which these characters became known so well.
Also, recreated for the first time on tour, the exhibit includes a replica of Schulz’s Santa Rosa, Calif. studio, as well as a series of fun, interactive experiences for kids and adults to express their own Schulz-like creativity.
The History of Charles Schulz and Peanuts Begins
The Peanuts strip had humble beginnings, appearing in only seven newspapers in 1950, but the strip’s influence and popularity spread rapidly and widely. At the time of Schulz’s retirement, Peanuts was published in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries and had more than 355 million readers.
Through original cartoons, as well as reproductions and related Peanuts ephemera, learn little-known facts about Schulz through early photos, the history of the Peanuts strip and, recreated for the first time on tour, a replica of Schulz’s studio at One Snoopy Place. The mock studio includes rare artifacts from Schulz’s personal life and work—Peanuts memorabilia, paintings, books and sporting equipment—on loan from the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, Calif. Also displayed in this area, guests will see the exhibit’s 10 original Peanuts strips that were created, designed and written by Schulz.
Through both early and later Peanuts strips, guests will see how the gang “grew up” throughout the years. Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally, Rerun, and Snoopy were introduced to readers as babies, but their physical appearances and behaviors became more mature and “adult” as the strip progressed. Other popular characters—like Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Woodstock—also evolved. Looking at the 1950s version of Schulz’s drawings, guests may not recognize “Good Ol’ Charlie Brown,” but through the years, the characters changed in both appearance and personality, becoming the more familiar characters most know today.
Celebrate the Holidays with Peanuts
Guests will go on a Peanuts tour of the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Through reproduction strips and cells from the various holiday-themed animated television specials, each season shines a spotlight on a holiday or celebration.
The review begins in the fall with Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin at Halloween and continues with the gang’s often ill-fated attempts at togetherness at Thanksgiving. In the winter, the characters get together for their favorite holiday, Christmas, and Woodstock and Snoopy’ New Year’s Eve celebration. And by February, Charlie Brown compulsively checks his mailbox for valentines.
Fun for the Whole Gang!
Kids and families can exercise their own Schultz-like creativity with interactive Peanuts-related activities throughout the exhibit
Inside Snoopy’s Doghouse. Schulz never revealed the inside of Snoopy’s doghouse, but based on certain clues, readers know Snoopy (who was no ordinary dog!) was an eccentric character with many interests. He owned a phonograph, clock radio, television set, ping pong table, philodendron plant and even a Van Gogh painting. In the exhibit, guests enter Snoopy’s doghouse and the imagination of the famed beagle, encountering a slew of fun, hands-on activities. Dress as one of Snoopy’s well-known personalities, like Joe Cool or the Flying Ace; take Snoopy’s novel’s perpetual opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night …,” and add personalized prose; trigger famous sounds from Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, like Snoopy’s laugh or Charlie Brown’s “Good Grief!”; and more.
Schroeder’s Piano. Step up to an oversized grand piano and walk along the keys to tap out a tune. (Beethoven, anyone?) Follow Snoopy’s footprints on the dance floor and boogie underneath a sparkly disco ball.
Color the Gang with Digital Crayon. Take Peanuts to the digital age in this fun, high-tech interactive. Use the touch screen to choose colors then take a digital “crayon” and fill in an image of the Peanuts gang projected on a giant screen.
The Peanut Gallery. Enter this educational space and experiment with drawing and animating. Watch a group of still images come to life through a giant zoetrope demonstrated by MSI educators, then put your own creativity to the test. Draw simple scenes in 16 frames and discover how singular static images together create the illusion of movement and animation, or sketch a Peanuts character using step-by-step templates and take it home.
Costume a Character. Play dress up with your favorite Peanuts characters. Choose from a variety of seasonal clothing and accessories and “dress” character cut-outs hanging on a magnetic wall.
Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit is presented by Walgreens. This exhibit is organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, Calif. This exhibit is not included in general admission and requires an additional timed-entry ticket. Tickets are $5 for adults and seniors and $3 for children 3-11. For tickets and additional information, visit msichicago.org.
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) offers thousands of fun and interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind, world-class experiences to inspire the inventive genius in everyone. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education, MSI also aspires to a larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and regular hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum is supported in part through the generosity of the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, find MSI online at msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414 or (800) GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.
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