cartoon art museum

San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum will close the doors to its Mission Street location, in the city’s Yerba Buena cultural district, for the final time on Sunday, June 28, 2015.

According to museum curator Andrew Farago, the space’s rent has doubled in price and ceased to be financially viable. “The landlords are giving us what considerations they can,” Farago told the San Francisco Chronicle, “but ultimately it’s a business decision.”

“[G]iven San Francisco’s current commercial real estate market, it’s not very surprising,” said the museum’s executive director Summerlea Kashar in an announcement on the museum website.

The Museum has resided in the Yerba Buena Gardens district since 1987, where it officially opened with the aid of an endowment from Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. It moved to its current location within the district, at 655 Mission Street, in 2001.

Over 30 years, the Cartoon Art Museum has celebrated and promoted animation, comics, graphic novels, editorial cartoon, zines, and book illustration. It has produced more than 180 exhibitions, including recent shows on Laika’s Boxtrolls and ParaNorman, Chuck Jones, and DreamWorks’s Puss in Boots. The museum houses more than 7,000 pieces of original cartoon art in its permanent collection.

It is hoped that the museum will move from its Mission Street location—prized cultural real estate a short distance from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts—into a suitable new home in the fall. “The staff and board are committed to maintaining the museum as a vital part of the city’s cultural fabric,” said museum board chairman Ron Evans.

Though Santa Rosa, California, has its Charles M. Schulz Museum, New York City its Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, and Columbus, Ohio its Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum bills itself as the “only museum in the western United States dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms.”

Cartoon Art Museum is currently showing “The Art of Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells,” an exhibition of concept art from Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon studio. It will host the Comics 4 Comix fundraising event on May 7 and continue to accept donations.