‘Good Grief, Charlie Brown’ at Somerset House, London

In January 2019, I found myself in London on a research trip for my Masters thesis. On a day off from lurking around pilgrimage sites related to dead celebrities, I was able to visit London’s iconic Somerset House for the first time with my friends Sarah, Danny, and Dave. The current Somerset House was constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries, and originally The Thames flowed straight up to the building to the south. It houses galleries, offices, a part-time ice skating rink, space for concerts, London Fashion Week, and more. Frankly, I was just stoked to be inside the courtyard!

The tents and gates were to keep us away from the ice skating rink, alas.

We went to Somerset House specifically to see the exhibit ‘Good Grief, Charlie Brown!: Celebrating Snoopy and the Enduring Power of Peanuts.‘ For those of you who don’t know, I have a Snoopy tattoo and accidentally subconsciously adopted a dog that looks like the original inspiration for Snoopy, Charles Schulz’s childhood dog Spike. I fucking love Peanuts, to say the least. The exhibit was done in partnership with the Charles Schulz Museum, which I’ve been dying to visit if I ever find myself in California again. This fact made it even more special to see this exhibit.

I basically ran around this exhibit like a chicken with no head. It featured original sketches, prints, letters, and personal effects (like Schulz’s childhood baseball glove – WOW!) alongside showing Peanuts books, cartoon clips, and documentary footage of Schulz working. A whole other section featured work from contemporary artists and designers who were inspired by Peanuts; from pairing Charlie Brown’s melancholy to lyrics from The Smiths, to Vietnam War lighters with Snoopy on them, to abstract art installations.

At the end of the exhibit, they had a life-size version of Lucy’s psychiatric help booth available for photo-op’s, of which we took many. They also had a station with light-boxes and iconic text and images from Peanuts so kids of all ages could learn to draw the gang and the world’s most favorite beagle. The size and scope of ‘Good Grief!’ was impressive, and there truly was something for everyone available. It was so interactive and rich, if left to my own devices I could have easily spent all day there.

Plan your own visit to, and learn more about, Somerset House by clicking here.
If you’re in California, make sure you visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum for me!!

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