San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum has found a new home after closing down last September sue to rising rents in its SoMa home. The new location, 781 Beach Street is near such attractions as Aquatic Park, the Maritime Museum, Ghirardelli Square, and the Hyde Street cable car turnaround, and will open in early 2017.
While the museum has been offering events since it lost its last physical location, having an actual building, with parking, public transportation and an impressive facade, is obviously a huge victory. Keeping a comics museum open in a city with insane real estate prices was not an easy task, and knowing it’ll be back is wonderful news.
The museum signed a 10-year lease on the location, which will house its permanent collection of more than 7,000 original pieces in an 8,000 sq. ft facility.
“The future of the Cartoon Art Museum has been secured,” said Museum Executive Director Summerlea Kashar in a statement, 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.”
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.
The Cartoon Art Museum was founded in 1984 and has had several locations since then, one funded with an endowment with area cartoonist Charles Schulz.Past exhibits have included 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.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.