Geppi's Entertainment Museum
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|Established||September 8, 2006|
|Location||2nd floor, Camden Yards Baltimore, Maryland|
|Director||Melissa Geppi-Bowersox, President|
Geppi's Entertainment Museum is a 16,000-square-foot (1,500 m2) privately owned pop culture museum located at historic Camden Station at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The museum chronicles the history of pop culture in America from the 17th century to today as made popular in newspapers, magazines, comic books, movies, television, radio and video games. It features a large and varied collection of nearly 60,000 pop culture artifacts, including magazines, movie posters, toys, buttons, badges, cereal boxes, trading cards, dolls, figurines - and memorabilia of every conceivable category!. Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is located in downtown Baltimore's historic Camden Station at Camden Yards, directly above the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and adjacent to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The museum is owned by Stephen A. Geppi, President and CEO of Diamond Comics Distributors, and The majority of the artifacts come from Geppi's private collection. In 2007, Geppi's daughter Melissa "Missy" Geppi-Bowersox became the Executive Vice-President of the Geppi’s Entertainment Museum; in 2012, Melissa Geppi-Bowersox was promoted to President.
The museum's founding curator was Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg, former editor at Gemstone Publishing. In 2011 Andy Hershberger was promoted to Associate Curator/Registrar, and has since worked with Melissa Geppi-Bowersox in the creation of a curatorial advisory committee.
In 2012, the museum store was renamed Geppi's Comic World (formerly: Flashbacks) in honor of Geppi’s former comic chain. Zachary Winland is the current manager of Geppi's Comic World.
The museum is composed of several galleries devoted to different eras of pop culture, as well as a temporary exhibit space for rotating exhibits. The standing galleries are:
- A Story in Four Colors displays a large collection of comic books to the Golden Age to the Modern Era. The gallery also includes an extensive collection of pulp magazines and Big Little Books.
- Pioneer Spirit: Baltimore Heroes looks at personalities, businesses and events that have contributed to Baltimore's reputation.
- Extra, Extra: 1776–1927 features characters made popular in newspapers, books, movies and radio broadcasts of the era.
- When Heroes Unite: 1928–1945 displays character collectibles from the Great Depression until World War II, including Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Superman, Captain Marvel, Dick Tracy, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, The Lone Ranger and more.
- America Tunes In: 1946–1960 features artifacts from the postwar era, including Howdy Doody, Davy Crockett, I Love Lucy, sports heroes, space and western shows and rock and roll.
- Revolution: 1961 to 1970 contains relics from one of the most influential decades of the 20th century. James Bond, The Flintstones, Batman, The Green Hornet, Star Trek, The Beatles, Barbie and G.I. Joe are among the characters and franchises represented here.
- Expanding Universe: 1971–1990 highlights video games, fast food tie-ins, Saturday morning cartoons, TV celebrities and Star Wars, among other post-1960s developments in pop culture.
- Going Global: 1991–Present displays artifacts from the last decade of the 20th century to the present, and includes representation of Jack Sparrow, MC Hammer, Hanna Montana and the Toy Story franchise.
Special Edition: Temporary Exhibits
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum has been host to a wide range of rotating exhibits on topics such as Star Wars, the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and previews of upcoming toys. As of August 2014, the current exhibit is Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond. Developed and curated by Michael Davis, co-founder of Milestone Media, it is scheduled to run through December 2014.
Geppi's Entertainment Museum's Zombie Gras is a yearly event timed to coincide with Mardi Gras. During Zombie Gras, patrons gather at Geppi's Entertainment Museum and are transformed into zombies - then unleashed to shamble on the streets of Baltimore. Once on the prowl, these organized undead descend upon participating restaurants: restaurants eager to satisfy the hunger of the undead with great food at prices to die for.
The next Zombie Gras, titled Zombie Gras 3, is taking place on March 30, 2013.
Pirates & Princess Party
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum’s Pirate & Princess Party is an annual party thrown during the summer season. At the Pirates & Princess Party young kids are encouraged to dress up as pirates or royalty and explore the museum’s many rooms – all brimming with special activities.
There are games, prizes, stories and food aplenty to keep all entertained.
Awards and recognition
- Winner of Nickelodeon's 2009 ParentsConnect.com Parents' Picks Award for Best Kid Museum.
- Winner of Nickelodeon's 2008 ParentsConnect.com Parents' Picks Award for Best Teen Museum.
- Baltimore City Paper 's GEM Best NonArt Museum, 2007.
In popular culture
The museum is featured in the 2008 Free Comic Book Day edition of Archie Comics Archie's Pal Jughead. The story, "Night at the Entertainment Museum," involves Archie and Jughead getting a job as night watchmen at the museum. Owner Steve Geppi and founding curator Arnold T. Blumberg also appear in the story.
- Museum Website
- Diamond Newsletter
- Curators Blog
- New York Times museum review
- Baltimore Sun museum review