Cartoon Art Museum
Founded in 1984 and supported by a grant from Charles Schultz, San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum on the West Coast devoted solely to this art form. With more than 7,000 original pieces, the museum’s collection includes everything from editorials and comic books to graphic novels and Anime.
Through the display and study of this accessible art form, the Cartoon Art Museum seeks to preserve the unique social, cultural, and historical statements cartoons make. Cartoons range from humorous to political and from profoundly simple to exquisitely complex, and the museum celebrates an array of these works, from Spiderman to The Economist. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum shows traveling exhibitions, has a research library and bookstore, and puts on educational events for both children and adults.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Cartoon Art Museum is a family-friendly sight that’s suited for all ages; children 5 years old and younger receive free admission.
Art lovers and pop culture enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to this museum.
On the first Tuesday of the month, admission is pay what you wish.
Residents of certain California counties receive reduced admission prices during designated months; these are listed on the website.
No flash photography is allowed.
How to Get There
The Cartoon Art Museum is located at 781 Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf, just one block from Aquatic Park, the Maritime Museum, Ghirardelli Square, and the Hyde Street cable car turnaround. The E- and F-line historic streetcars stop at Jones and Beach streets, about two blocks east of the museum.
When to Get There
The Cartoon Art Museum is usually less crowded than the more famous attractions in San Francisco, but its location near many major sights makes it easily accessible during a day of sightseeing. In general, expect the biggest crowds from mid-May through early September, which is the city’s high season. Also, check the museum’s website for a list of current exhibitions and an up-to-date art class schedule.
Nearby Aquarium of the Bay
Another family-friendly attraction, Aquarium of the Bay is about a 15-minute walk or 5-minute drive from the Cartoon Art Museum at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf. Its immersive exhibits include touch pools as well as walk-through tunnels where visitors can get up close and personal with local marine life, such as the sharks and anchovies that call the bay waters home.
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