Extending her support for the art form her late husband helped define, Santa Rosa philanthropist Jeannie Schulz has donated $1 million toward a new home for the Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University.
The gift, announced Thursday, includes the promise of another $2.5 million if the Columbus-based university can match that amount from other sources, a campus spokeswoman said.
Schulz?s donation will be spent toward an estimated $20.6 million building renovation that will make room for the Cartoon Library and Museum?s collection of more than 400,000 original cartoons and comic art, manuscripts, newspaper clippings and other pieces.
It is an appropriate tribute to her late husband, ?Peanuts? creator Charles M. Schulz, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee said in a written statement.
?By helping to underwrite a state-of-the-art facility for the University?s renowned Cartoon Library and Museum,? Gee said, ?Jean Schulz advances the work of students, faculty and scholars and deepens our understanding of the importance of the genre.
?Her gift is an especially fitting way to honor the remarkable creative legacy of her late husband, Charles.?
Schulz is president of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in northwest Santa Rosa and has known the Ohio State museum found and curator, Lucy Shelton Caswell, for decades, Jane Carroll, public relations manager for OSU development, said.
Shelton Caswell, a professor, author and cartoon historian, has written about Charles M. Schulz and also sits on the Santa Rosa museum board, for which Jean Schulz is president.
In 2006, she guest-curated an exhibit on the history of little girls in the comics at the Santa Rosa facility.
She founded the OSU cartoon museum and research center in 1977 in two converted classrooms, with a collection from Ohio-born cartoonist Milton Caniff, creator of ?Steve Canyon? and ?Terry and the Pirates.?
Over 30 years, the museum grew to more than 200,000 before acquiring in 2007 the entire collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art, doubling the OSU museum?s size and drawing researchers from around the globe, Carroll 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 home for this important collection and to recognize her contribution in the field,? Jeannie Schulz said in a statement.
?It?s phenomenal,? Carroll said of the museum?s deep collection of original artwork and artifacts. ?You go in there, and it?s jaw dropping.?
The growing collection is housed, however, in cramped quarters beneath the campus arts center that are difficult to find and insufficient for the museum?s needs, Carroll said.
If all goes well, it will be moved into a 40,000-square-foot space in a historic building that will also provide space for a campus Department of Dance and Museum/Dance Library, and an upgraded auditorium.
The new cartoon museum will include a reading room, three museum-quality galleries and expanded storage with state-of-the-art environmental and security controls.