Geppi’s Entertainment Museum to Close After a Donation to the Library of Congress
In a mix of both bad and good news, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, a fantastic museum dedicated to comics and more, will close but Diamond Comic Distributors President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen A. Geppi has made a multimillion dollar donation of more than 3,000 items from his personal comic book and pop culture collection to The Library of Congress.
Geppi’s gift encompasses comic books, photos, posters, original comic book and comic strip art, newspapers, pinback buttons, and other rare, vintage pop culture artifacts including the original Plane Crazy storyboards that document the creation of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse.
Items are expected to go on display at the Library of Congress beginning this summer. With the acquisition of these items by the Library of Congress, GEM will close its doors in June. Its last day open to the public will be Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 10am to 6pm. Admission that day will be free of charge.
The Library holds more than 140,000 issues of approximately 13,000 comic book titles, dating back to the 1930s. The collection includes many firsts and some of the most important comics in history, including the first comic book sold on newsstands, the first comics featuring Batman and other iconic characters, such as All Star Comics #8, the first appearance of Wonder Woman. The Library also holds a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the origin and first appearance of Spider-Man, along with the original artwork that Steve Ditko created for the issue. According to The Library, The Geppi Collection expands and enriches this strong foundation and fills gaps in specific issues.
The donation of more than 3,000 items is the largest donation of comic books in the library’s history. It includes a wide range of rare comics and represents the best of the Golden (1938-1956), Silver (1956-1970) and Bronze (1970-1985) ages of comic books. The mint-condition collection is also noted for its racially and socially diverse content as well as the distinctive creative styles of each era.
The collection also includes motion picture posters and objects showcasing how music, comic book characters, cultural icons and politicians were popularized in the consumer marketplace. Among these are Beatles memorabilia, a collection of flicker rings popularizing comic book characters and political figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Outcault’s The Yellow Kid printing blocks and the No. 2 Brownie camera model F from Eastman Kodak Company. The Library of Congress’ collection of comic books is available for research use by scholars, collectors and other researchers in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room.