This is sad but not surprising—given the insane rise in real estate prices in San Francisco, it was only a matter of time before the Cartoon Art Museum, which occupied a spacious and accessible spot near Market Street has been evicted so its space can be converted to something expensive and greedy. The museum will stay open until June 28th, and in a release they note that the move was not unexpected and they had already begun preparations, just like Cutter and Skywise.
While a LOT of people have tried to open a comics art museum in the US over the years—Mort Walker, Kevin Eastman, David Gabriel, MoCCA and more—the Cartoon Art Museum, which was founded in 1984 by publisher Malcolm Whyte and friends to showcase their own collections. It’s become a staple of the Bay Area’s cultural life with weekly events and classic exhibitions, under the guidance of curator Andrew Farago, executive Director Summerlea Kashar and Board chairman Ron Evans. The museum will last long enough to take part in the first San Francisco Comics Fest, before moving to temporary gallery space while it searched for a permanent home.
Maybe this is a chance for Apple, Google, Twitter, Uber and all those other billion dollar companies to actually show that they care about more than making a buck and sink a little tax free charity dollars into adding to the culture of the area they’ve colonized. Crazy dream, I know.
Following a notice to vacate, the Cartoon Art Museum will be closing its doors at 655 Mission Street on Sunday, June 28, 2015. The museum, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, began preparing several months ago for a possible relocation and will now continue those efforts in search of temporary gallery space as well as a new long-term home. “This is just another challenge in the life of the Cartoon Art Museum,” says Summerlea Kashar, the museum’s Executive Director. “And given San Francisco’s current commercial real estate market, it’s not very surprising.” The Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum in the western United States dedicated to promoting a greater appreciation of cartoons, comics, animation, and illustration. Through exhibitions, artist appearances, and community outreach programs, the museum demonstrates how cartoon art entertains, communicates diversity, and champions self-expression. Thousands of young people have benefited from the museum’s programs and classes in creativity. Over the past three decades, the museum has produced more than 180 exhibitions on topics ranging from politics and sports to children’s literature and Latino culture. Among the hundreds of artists that have been featured are Kate Beaton, Mary Blair, Roz Chast, Robert Crumb, Dan DeCarlo, Will Eisner, Phil Frank, Dave Gibbons, Edward Gorey, Los Bros. Hernandez, Lynn Johnston, Chuck Jones, Jack Kirby, Keith Knight, Tom Meyer, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, John Romita, Stan Sakai, Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, Raina Telgemeier, Garry Trudeau, Morrie Turner, Mort Walker, Bill Watterson, and Wally Wood. The Cartoon Art Museum remains open through late June with many programs slated for the next two months. In May, the museum will take part in the inaugural San Francisco Comics Fest with an event celebrating San Francisco’s underground comix movement. It will also play host to Comics 4 Comix, an evening of standup comedy, as well as the second annual Queer Comics Expo. The museum’s final exhibition at 655 Mission Street will showcase original artwork from Jeffrey Brown’s popular series of Star Wars books, including Goodnight Darth Vader and the forthcoming release Darth Vader and Friends. “We’re one of San Francisco’s most original educational institutions and a magnet for visitors from around the world,” says Board Chairman Ron Evans. “The staff and board are committed to maintaining the museum as a vital part of the city’s cultural fabric. We welcome any and all support from those who would like to help us do so.” For information on becoming a museum member, making a financial or in-kind donation, or enlisting as a corporate sponsor, please call 415-227-8666 x 313 or visitcartoonart.org/join-support . Supporters are also encouraged to contribute to the Cartoon Art Museum’s capital campaign .