GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Get ready to explore the natural world with your favorite “Peanuts” characters in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s newest temporary exhibit, “Peanuts…Naturally: Charlie Brown and Friends Explore Nature,” opening Sept. 29.
The exhibit takes a light-hearted look at Charles Schulz’s exploration of the natural world through “Peanuts” comic strips, videos, objects and interactive stations.
Charlie Brown is in trouble with the Environmental Protection Agency, Lucy knows the Earth has 48 suns, and Snoopy and Linus are planting french fries in the garden. These are just a few of the misadventures and explanations gone wrong as the comic strip characters investigate the natural world.
“The ‘Peanuts’ comic strip characters have some really funny ideas about how nature works,” said Florida Museum assistant exhibit developer Tina Choe. “We are excited to bring visitors back to nature and to connect the exhibit to some of the fascinating and timely research being done at the museum.”
The exhibit is organized into seven main themes: the universe, web of nature, trees, birds, the elements, gardening and the EPA and contains 22 text panels and 25 framed, high-resolution digital reproductions of original “Peanuts” comic strips. Each is augmented by a diversity of specimens from the museum’s collections, including migrating birds, endangered freshwater clams, a Mayan hieroglyphic statue from Honduras and a black bear, on loan from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“Florida has so many wonderful opportunities to get outside and see amazing natural environments,” Choe said. “Right here at our museum, we have the wildflower butterfly garden and the UF Natural Area Teaching Laboratory as well as many off-site opportunities to get out and get involved in all kinds of cool science. In today’s world, with a focus on computers, video games and technology, this exhibit underscores the need to bring people back to nature.”
Schulz, who wrote the “Peanuts” comic strip for nearly 50 years, was immensely curious, an avid reader and interested in the latest research findings in a variety of fields. Many of these findings and facts found their way into Schulz’s comic strip, carefully interpreted through his characters’ unique, and sometimes wacky, understanding of their world.
Admission to “Peanuts…Naturally” is $4 for adults; $3.50 for Florida residents, seniors and college students; and $3 for ages 3-17. Value admission tickets to the exhibit and Butterfly Rainforest are also available: $12 for adults; $11 for Florida residents, seniors and college students; and $8.50 for ages 3-17.
“Peanuts…Naturally” is organized and toured by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, Santa Rosa, Calif.
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Writer: Logan Gerber