05/11/2021 - 06/02/2022
5th November-6th February 2022, the Heong Gallery at Downing College, Cambridge will have original strips, drawings and objects from the Charles M. Schulz Museum in California on show.
With over 70 characters to choose from in Peanuts comic strips, The Heong Gallery chose the fascinating character of Lucy Van Pelt, one of the most enduring female characters in Peanuts. First appearing in March,1952 in the comic strip, Charles M. Schulz soon realised that Lucy, a character he initially disliked for her ‘cold-blooded’ self-sufficiency, would be the perfect antidote to Charlie Brown’s self-doubt and childhood anxieties. Lucy, who is known for being so outspoken, is the model of self-belief, whether it be in her frustration with the perceived shortcomings of others, or with her readiness to dispense advice. The exhibition demonstrates how Schulz used the comics to address feminism to mental health to religion, as well as the frustrations of childhood in frank and sophisticated and unprecedented ways that had not been attempted in the comic strip before.
First appearing in newspapers in 1950, Peanuts continued to feature until 2000, attracting a global following from all over the world, of all ages. Focusing on the everyday struggles of a group of pre-teens in an unknown midwestern town, Schulz was able to create complex characters while still managing to deliver the laughs and the running pages.
As well as newspapers, the Peanuts gang appeared in films, book and several television specials. The strip has been and continues to be a wide inspiration for the comic strip artists that followed.
About Charles M. Schulz:
Charles Monroe Schulz (1922-2000) was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Just 14 years old, Schulz had his first published drawing, of his dog, Spike. Returning from the war, Schulz became an instructor at Art Instruction Inc. where his first newspaper comic strip Li'l Folks was developed, running from 1947-1949. Li'l Folks later turned into Peanuts and had its first strip on 2 October 1950.
Since, Schulz drew 17,897 daily and Sunday strips until shortly before his death in 2000. The Charles M. Schulz museum opened 2 years later, in Santa Rosa, California, founded by his wife Jean Schulz.
A little note from our Concierge:
A must see for us has to be the cover of the Ms. Magazine, America's first national feminist magazine. Titled 'How to Start Your Own Business', the magazine interestingly chose the character of Lucy, sat at her lemonade stand, representing not only the independence of Lucy but the depth of her character, representing the wider feminist movement taking place during this time in America.
Location: The Heong Gallery at Downing College.
Opening Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12PM-5PM.
Further information can be found on their website.