Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 19, 2018

Word Made Official: Toonseum Closing Its Physical Space, Hoping To Regroup And Re-Energize

Pittsburgh's ToonSeum will close its physical space on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh at end of business on Friday. The building has been there for nearly a decade, according to that local report, one of many specialty museums in a crowded, local market. Pittsburgh has long been a general space for museums due to its tradition of rich regional patronage. ToonSeum was started in 2007 by Joe Wos, who left in 2014. John F. Kelly was named executive director in 2016.

The museum pledges a turnaround period focused on education meant to ignite and reinforce the local cartooning community, and plans to get into a more affordable space on year from now.

It's unclear until the rest of the story unfolds a year and more from now what this means in general. Comics has enjoyed such smashing victories in its culture's goals of become relevant as pop creation and legitimate as a source for literary work that stories like these are often seen as unique incidents working against the flow of history. However, the specific narrative for comics museums has a much rockier 21st Century. Pittsburgh is a curious comics town, festooned with comics-makers and supported by solid to great retail but without much of an impact at the city's arts and entertainment core. Kelly's real-world executive background is surely to be tested in the months ahead. All luck to him and his board.
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink

Daily Blog Archives
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
Full Archives