Somerset House always showcases incredible exhibitions, and this time was no exception. Good Grief Charlie Brown celebrated the work of Schulz with Snoopy and Peanuts.
You know what we’re like, we couldn’t just do one thing, so we started our day with some early football at Vicarage Road. This unusually resulted in success for Watford, so happily we sauntered onto the overground into town.
On our walk from Charing Cross, we were both feeling particularly peckish. Oddly for us we made a rogue food choice. Normally, in the name of budget fun and good palettes, we eat in or plan the meal out, but hunger really got us this time. As we walked past Pizza Hut on The Strand there was a knowing glance. Jess can’t avoid a competition, and Tim loves food, and they were advertising the pizza hut buffet for Sundays. Well, the advertising really worked.
Bellies full, we headed to Somerset House. Now, if you’ve never been, the architecture is phenomenal, but when they have super popular exhibitions on, particularly on the last days, their queueing system is not quite so. Never mind, we still got in, albeit 40 minutes after our allotted time!
The Good Grief Charlie Brown exhibition was amazing. Full of nostalgia from games, comics, spoons and other ‘kitsch’ tat on show, to the brilliant comic strips that continued throughout the exhibition. Normally proving points depending on what the section of the exhibition was trying to show. How important the other characters were, the feminist drives of Patty, the brilliantly existential existence of all characters, the importance of a blanket.
In fact, one thing that was so brilliant throughout was not just the stories of the fictional characters, but the stories of the humans that were involved too, not just those touched by the cartoons, but those involved in Schulz’s life too.
There were video screens throughout, showing everything from the process of illustrations to stories of people that Schulz loved and loved him, to interviews from a more formal capacity. The saddest part? The artwork done after Schulz died, showcasing the end of snoopy. It was so sad it brought tears to both of our eyes.
There was so much cool merchandise throughout. Obviously not available to buy, but stuff that had been produced at different points in the life of Peanuts. As impressive as this was, there were also other people’s interpretations and artwork throughout too. From neon to cardboard peanut stands, it was really fascinating to see how the work of these 5 little cartoon characters spread across the globe.
It wouldn’t be a great exhibition without things to touch and immerse yourselves in. There was a huge table of snoopy and peanut books and comics from across the world. There was also a huge cinema screen showing cartoons on a loop and really making us both revert back to childhood afternoons spent in front of the TV. Beanbags galore and capturing the minds of all ages, it was great!
The final immersive bit was the have a go yourself room. This was where they had a room full of stensils and lightboxes for you to have a go at drawing your own cartoons. Here are a few of our favourites that we spotted throughout!
All in all, as always, the exhibition at Somerset House was incredible. From Guy Bourdin, to Tintin, Big Band Data to Peanuts, they always have an incredible way of showcasing the exhibitions that they put on, and we can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store again.