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Jean Schulz gives $1 million to cartoon library

Jean Schulz, the widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, has given $1 million to the Ohio State University Cartoon Library & Museum to support the renovation of Sullivant Hall, the future home of the world’s most comprehensive academic research facility dedicated to documenting printed cartoon art. Jean has also promised another matching gift of $2.5 million if Ohio State raises an equal amount.

“We are very grateful to Jean Schulz for her generous gift, and for her challenge which will encourage everyone who cares about cartoon art to become involved in our project,” said founding curator Lucy Shelton Caswell. “The new Cartoon Museum and Library will be a place of learning and enjoyment for the public and scholars alike.”

Located at a highly visible location along High Street and adjacent to the Wexner Center for the Arts, the historic Sullivant Hall is in dire need of repair. The planned renovation will provide 40,000 gross square feet of space for the new Cartoon Library and Museum that will include a spacious reading room for researchers, three museum-quality galleries, and expanded storage with state-of-the-art environmental and security controls. A dedicated ground-level entry will allow for easy access to the new facility. The addition of exhibition galleries dedicated to cartoon art will facilitate public display of the Library’s extraordinary collection.

When asked what inspired her to give to The Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State, Jean said, “Lucy Caswell has done a marvelous job in collecting and preserving works in the cartoon medium. I was pleased at the opportunity to help provide a fitting home for this important collection and to recognize her contribution in the field.”

The Sullivant renovation will also provide new spaces for the Department of Dance and the Music/Dance Library, and an upgraded auditorium, which will be used for numerous community, academic, and performance purposes.

Total renovation cost is estimated at $20.6 million, with architectural design to take 12 months, followed by 6 months for bidding and contracts and 24 months for construction.

Due to its outstanding reputation, growing collection and a surge of scholarly interest in comics and cartoons, the Cartoon Library and Museum – formerly known as the Cartoon Research Library – is a destination location for researchers from around the world.

With a founding gift of the Milton Caniff Collection, Ohio State’s Cartoon Library and Museum was established in 1977 in two converted classrooms in the university’s Journalism Building. From this small beginning, founding curator Caswell has spent more than 30 years building the Library into the widely renowned facility it is today.

The Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State is one of the most admired and sought-after caretakers of legacy collections. Thousands of donors have contributed to the collection, with gifts ranging from one item to tens of thousands. In 1992, the Robert Roy Metz Collection of 83,034 original cartoons by 113 cartoonists was donated by United Media, and in 2007, the entire collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art (IMCA), numbering more than 200,000 originals, was transferred to the Cartoon Library and Museum.

With the addition of the IMCA’s extensive permanent collection, the Cartoon Library and Museum now houses more than 400,000 works of original cartoon and comics art, 35,000 books, 51,000 serial titles, 2,800 linear feet of manuscript materials, and 2.5 million comic strip clippings and newspaper pages. Moving into its new home from its current location, a 6,800-square-foot basement north of Mershon Auditorium, will allow more of the Collection to be displayed and readily accessible.

Community Comments

#1 Tom Heintjes
April/23/2009
@ 2:48 pm

Wow, great! Didn’t Schulz also give megabucks to OSU to publish the late, lamented INKS magazine? Nice benefactors!

#2 Jim Thomas
April/23/2009
@ 3:22 pm

Can’t wait to see the renovations. They had a show of Jeff Smith work last year and they had his work from The Lantern, The OSU student paper when he attended classes in Columbus, but they had so little space to show it appropriately. This is a great gift for the Library and those of us close enough to take advantage of its vast resources!

#3 Alan Jones
April/23/2009
@ 3:29 pm

Whoa, that library/museum sounds amazing! Mega-cheer to the Shulz’s!

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting PhD/MFA researching comic strips of the science fiction genre. And this museum/facility sounds where I’d be spending a lot of time. Cool.

#4 Ben Rankel
April/23/2009
@ 3:43 pm

That’s amazing. What a generous donation with the promise of more!

#5 Nate Fakes
April/23/2009
@ 3:52 pm

Awesome. Almost makes me want to move back to Ohio!

#6 Stacy Curtis
April/23/2009
@ 4:38 pm

Makes the pilgrimage to the OSU Festival of Cartoon Art even more enjoyable!

Cheers to Jean Schulz!

#7 Dan Collins
April/23/2009
@ 6:22 pm

That’s fantastic! I get down to the library now and then since I live pretty close. Can’t wait to see the new space!

#8 swanie
April/24/2009
@ 8:24 am

jean is good people … selfless … i’ve had the pleasure to meet jean … she probably doesn’t remember me … that’s ok …

#9 Jenny Robb
May/15/2009
@ 11:37 am

Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments and good wishes. Anyone who wants to participate in the Schulz Challenge can donate online at https://www.giveto.osu.edu/igive/onlinegiving/search_results.aspx?fundnum=313023 with a credit card or mail a check to The Ohio State University Cartoon Library and Museum, 27 W. 17th Ave. Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1393 (Please indicate “Schulz Challenge” on the check).

Any amount is most welcome and will be matched dollar for dollar by Jean Schulz.

Thanks!
Jenny Robb
Associate Curator

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