Skip to main content

San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum finds a new home

Cartoon Art Museum

media contact: David Perry & Associates, Inc. (415) 767-1067 /

San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum finds a new home

Esteemed 32 Year Old Institution To Locate In Heart of SF’s Tourism District

2 November 2016 – San Francisco, CA: Cartoons are serious business. The Bay Area’s own Charles Schulz, legendary creator of the iconic Peanuts, knew that there was more to the funnies than being funny. That’s why in 1987, an endowment from the Schulz foundation allowed San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum ( to open a location near what has now become Yerba Buena Gardens. Now, almost 30 years later, the investment has paid off as one of the oldest museums of cartoon art in the United States expands again: signing a 10-year lease in an historic building along the City’s tourist-rich northern waterfront.  The Cartoon Art Museum is the first museum dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms in the western United States. This unique institution houses approximately 7,000 original pieces in its permanent collection and attracts more than 30,000 visitors annually.

“The future of the Cartoon Art Museum has been secured,” said Museum Executive Director Summerlea Kashar noting special assistance from the Northern California Community Loan Fund and the City and County of San Francisco. “Once our Board of Trustees saw this building, they immediately knew that it was the one. In addition to a breathtaking view of the San Francisco Bay, the new location allows the museum to design a perfect venue for viewing, discussing, creating, and interacting with all forms of cartoon art and connecting with the artists who make it.”

Located at 781 Beach Street (just one block from Aquatic Park, the Maritime Museum, Ghirardelli Square, and the Hyde Street cable car turnaround), the 1912 brick building features a beautiful historic façade, prominent street presence, convenient parking, and easy access to and from public transportation. It offers highly visible public access to the museum’s nearly 8,000 square feet of space featuring galleries, screening area, workshop, classroom, bookstore, library and collections facility.

The Benton family, owners of the historic structure, are equally excited about the museum’s new home. A family representative noted, “We’re thrilled to have the Cartoon Art Museum as one of our new tenants. As owners in San Francisco for more than 50 years, it is great to be working with a non-profit that offers unique programming and exhibitions, as well as community outreach. We’re proud to be a part of keeping artistic culture alive in San Francisco.”

The Cartoon Art Museum has begun making improvements to the location, and plans to reopen to the public in the spring of 2017. During the transition, the museum will continue to host offsite events and work with partner organizations throughout the Bay Area.

“We are thrilled that we’ll be welcoming visitors back through our doors soon,” notes Kashar. “It’s been worth the wait! ”

Founded in 1984, the Cartoon Art Museum has something for everyone—from comic strips, superheroes and anime to political cartoons, graphic novels and underground comix. People of all ages can view original cartoon art at exhibitions and screenings, produce their own comics and animation at classes and workshops, research deeply into our collection and library, and mix and mingle with professional and aspiring cartoonists. The Museum’s mission is to ignite imaginations and foster the next generation of visual storytellers by celebrating the history of cartoon art, its role in society, and its universal appeal. The Museum’s vision is to be the premier destination to experience cartoon art in all its many forms from around the world, and a leader in providing insight into the process of creating it.

During the Museum’s past three decades, nearly 200 exhibitions have featured hundreds of artists from almost every continent and artistic style, including Mary Blair, Dan Clowes, Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Phil Frank, Edward Gorey, Hayao Miyazaki, Spain Rodriguez, Charles Schulz, Ronald Searle, Dr. Seuss, Art Spiegelman, Garry Trudeau, Morrie Turner, Bill Watterson and many more.

The Museum’s unique permanent collection houses 7,000 pieces, including original Disney animation art from the collection of Mike Glad; historic comic strip art from Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes), Bil Keane (Family Circus), Walt Kelly (Pogo), George Herriman (Krazy Kat) and Winsor McCay; political cartoons from Bill Mauldin and Lou Grant; comic book art from Bob Kane, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, and many others.

What People Are Saying About the Cartoon Art Museum:

“The Cartoon Art Museum is a unique asset of the City of San Francisco; it has worldwide respect and its exhibitions and programs appeal to people of all ages and from all walks of life. We are thrilled that the Museum’s new location in Fisherman’s Wharf will add a cultural institution to the area and become a destination for both locals and tourists.”
— Tom DeCaigny, San Francisco Director of Cultural Affairs

“The Cartoon Art Museum is exactly the kind of art museum I wish I’d been able to visit when I was a kid, and it informs and inspires me as a cartoonist today. They manage to cover every kind of cartoon art, bringing attention to obscure masterpieces and insight to well-known classics. The best art often manages to be simultaneously entertaining and thought provoking – something The Cartoon Art Museum manages to do as well.”
— Jeffrey Brown, cartoonist, recipient of the Ignatz Award and two Eisner Awards, New York Times best selling author

“I’ve been a fan and supporter of the Cartoon Art Museum for many years because it is one of the few places to see original art from past and present creators–it is a wonderful source of inspiration for both working artists and younger people. We’re lucky to have such a unique institution in the Bay Area. I’m really excited about its new facility and what the future holds.”
— Pete Docter, Pixar Animation Studios Academy Award-winning Director

Note: Images for press use may be downloaded at: