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Recently displaced Cartoon Art Museum finds new home in SF

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Photo courtesy Cartoon Art Museum
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San Francisco’s premiere home for honoring illustrations is drawing itself a new future.

The Cartoon Art Museum is set to move into a new space at Fisherman’s Wharf by next spring after the iconic cartoon archive lost its lease last year at the Mission Street location it previously inhabited.

“We’re just really excited, and really looking forward to making new partners in a new neighborhood,” said Summerlea Kashar, the museum’s executive director.

The museum was formerly located on Mission Street, in the South of Market neighborhood. It has boasted comic books, anime, Sunday funnies and more in its 7,000-piece permanent collection, and featured more than 200 exhibits since it was founded in 1984.

But in June 2015, the museum closed its doors after its rent was set to double. At the time, the museum’s curators speculated they may have to leave San Francisco.

Gratefully, Kashar said, that didn’t come to pass.

Instead, the museum’s new location is nestled on 781 Beach St., a stone’s throw from Aquatic Park, Ghirardelli Square and the Buena Vista Cafe.

Kashar said the new space is “comparable” in size to the old one on Mission Street, though it’s one floor shorter. “We get to design it, too,” she said, which wasn’t an option with the old space.

“It’s got this really nice-looking facade,” she said, which is brick and looks similar to the nearby historic Cannery.

“For us, we wanted a place that was easy to get to, had street level visibility. It’s gorgeous,” she said.

The new space was made possible in part by a loan from San Francisco’s Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund, which has helped keep nonprofits in San Francisco during the rental crisis.

Kashar said the museum will announce fundraising efforts for the new location soon.

In the meantime, she hinted at one of the first new exhibits for the museum when it opens in 2017: the Summer of Love’s 50th anniversary.

That includes Wimmen’s Comix and Underground Comix, San Francisco staples from The City’s anti-establishment comics past.

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