[The Peanuts Gang]. Complete set of 13 drawings, with colour cels of six of them, for sheet metal panels on the Wilbur Avenue Pedestrian Bridge ("Snoopy Bridge") of Tarzana Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA.
13 drawings, each signed within the image. Ink or felt-tip, some over visible pencil, on sturdy paper, ca. 267 x 330 mm (10½ x 12½ inches) each. 6 colour cels, 266 x 317 mm (8½ x 11 inches) each. Includes original manila envelope. Stored together in a custom-made yellow half morocco box.
The complete set of Charles M. Schulz's original pen-and-ink "Peanuts" drawings gifted by the artist in 1971 to decorate the newly erected overhead footbridge at the intersection of Wilbur Avenue and Collins Street in Los Angeles's suburban Tarzana neighborhood of San Fernando Valley.
The 90-foot pedestrian overpass was planned in 1969 to protect school children who needed to cross Wilbur Avenue, a five-lane thoroughfare which was also subject to frequent floods, to reach Tarzana Elementary School on the road's west side. A member of the school's parent-teacher association knew Charles Schulz personally and asked him whether he might consider donating drawings of his famous characters to embellish the concrete and steel bridge. The cartoonist's sketches were then blown up as twelve alternating life-size panels fastened across the span, each measuring 5 feet in height and 3 to 8 feet in width. To this day, more than a half-century on, the panels have proved remarkably resilient to the ravages of time and the weather, and the overpass is widely known in the area as "Snoopy Bridge".
The present set includes a 13th sketch which was ultimately not chosen for the bridge, showing Charlie Brown sitting in a metal pail. On the verso of the drawing of Snoopy dancing is an earlier, abandoned sketch of the same motif. The six colour cels are marked up for colouring by a colourist's hand. Includes the original manila envelope inscribed "Peanuts" in red felt-tip pen and return-addressed to the responsible engineer at the city's Department of Public Works, J. R. Penrose.
A fine survival, and a genuine slice of American life, of which Charlie Brown and his gang have been such a vital part since Schulz first introduced the "Peanuts" comic strip in 1950.
Occasional artist's corrections with white-out. Pinpricks to corners; some sides clipped a little irregularly; occasional faint traces of handling. Cels show traces of old adhesive tape on the sides.