Who Founded the Museum of Cartoon Art

Check out cartoon art in the Mission.

Do you want to know more about who founded the Museum of Cartoon Art (the MCA)? The museum began as an idea in 1984 and has grown into one of San Francisco's most compelling attractions. If you want to know more about this unique art exhibition, you'll find all sorts of information here and on their website.

Who Founded the Museum of Cartoon Art?

According to the The Museum of Cartoon Art website, the museum was originally started in 1984 when a group of cartoon enthusiasts including Malcolm Whyte began to exhibit their work around town. Originally called "The Museum Without Walls," the cartoon art museum was mobile and made appearances in several museums and corporate locations.

1987 began a new era in the life of the museum, when they received an endowment from Charles Schultz, the creator of the classic Peanuts comic, through the Charles M. Schulz Foundation. The MCA now resides in a permanent location within the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

In 2008 the museum reopened its flagship location, featuring an entirely new lineup of cartoon-related books, posters, toys, and more. The museum annually receives over 30,000 patrons, all of whom are interested in cartoon art as a part of our culture.

More Cartoon Art History

Since its inception over 20 years ago, the Museum of Cartoon Art has produced many exhibitions and an extensive number of publications, all outlining the colorful history of cartoon art. The museum has featured the work of many famous artists, including:

  • Dave Gibbons - Watchmen
  • Charles M. Schulz - Peanuts
  • Stan Sakai - Usagi Yojimbo
  • Gene Colan - Daredevil/Marvel Comics
  • Nell Brinkley - The Brinkley Girls

The primary focus of the museum is to preserve cartooning as an art form, which in the past has struggled against its more serious-appearing siblings, the fine arts. The direction for the museum is guided by the museum's Board of Trustees as well as a Professional Advisory Board of noted cartoonists.

As it stands now, the Museum of Cartoon Art houses over 6,000 original pieces in its collections, in addition to the feature exhibits that it hosts several times a year. The museum hosts a series of outreach programs with the intent of educating the public about the value of cartoon art as a whole.

Cartoon Classes

The Museum of Cartoon Art is also known for its popular art classes, which aim to teach not only the art of cartooning, but to hone it as a craft as well. The instructors at the museum teach their students a wide array of comics-related skills, including character design, storyboarding, and general comic creation.

The museum also hosts a summer "Cartoon Boot Camp" which allows seven to fourteen year-olds to create their own superhero comics. Topics include:

  • Designing superheroes
  • From storyboard to animatic
  • Rendering techniques
  • Storytelling for comics
  • Overall cartoon craft

More Information About the Cartoon Museum

If you have more questions than "Who founded the Museum of Cartoon Art?", here are some links that will help you learn more:

  • There is a blog dedicated to the goings-on of the museum.
  • Information is available on private cartooning classes.
  • The museum always needs support, if you are interested in donating money, artwork, or your time as a volunteer.
  • Rod Gilchrist, the Executive Director of the Museum of Cartoon Art for over ten years, passed away in 2008.
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Who Founded the Museum of Cartoon Art