Geppi's Entertainment Museum
is located at Camden Yards and represents the culmination of a lifelong dream for Baltimore businessman Stephen A. Geppi, president and CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors. The museum is located in the second and third floors of Baltimore's historic Camden Station and is adjacent to Oriole Park. The museum opening date is September 8, 2006.
The core of this unique grouping is Geppi's own private collection. Additionally, elements of a number of other distinguished collections have been loaned to GEM.
The collection of rare toys,
comic books, animation cels, movie posters, oil paintings and other pop-culture artifacts will be on permanent display, arranged in a sequence that takes the visitor from each period of U.S. history in chronological progression. The exhibits span 230 years of American life.
Palmer Cox's Brownies:
The early years begin with a phenomenal display of articles showcasing the first successful recurring characters used in toy manufacturing and advertising:
Palmer Cox's Brownies.
The second period is anchored by the
the first successful regional comic character to appear in a newspaper. Following closely behind the Yellow Kid, timewise, and the focus of his own memorabilia display, is Buster Brown, the first comic character to be incorporated in newspapers on a national level.
18th Century Marbles to Star Wars:
From incredibly rare 18th-century marbles to
Star Wars action figures,
the artifacts shown at GEM encompass both obscure, early characters and international icons, such as Mickey Mouse and Superman.
Geppi serves as the museum's president and CEO, while Diamond International Galleries' president, John K. Snyder Jr. is GEM's executive vice president. Wendy Kelman is executive director of GEM and Arnold T. Blumberg is curator.
About Stephen Geppi:
Geppi was born in the Little Italy section of Baltimore, where his love of comic books was kindled. His first job was handling the comics for a local store. He left school to support his mother, eventually winding up with a job in the U.S. Postal Service. After a reintroduction to comic books through a nephew, he began setting up at comic book conventions as a part-time dealer. He quit his postman job and in 1974 opened his first Geppi's Comic World store.
Geppi later founded Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest English-language comic book distributor in the world. He is also part of the Baltimore Orioles local ownership group. In 1994 Geppi purchased Baltimore Magazine, then expanded with the formation of Gemstone Publishing Inc. In 2004 Diamond acquired Hake's Americana & Collectibles auction house and in 2005 purchased Morphy Auctions. Other business interests include Alliance Game and Diamond Select Toys.
GEM is groundbreaking in its approach to, and presentation of, the history of popular culture, effectively spelling out in a highly compelling fashion how entertainment was conceived, developed, marketed and tested by the marketplace throughout our nation's evolution. In its well-designed, era-by-era staging, the museum gives special focus to the creation of items both entertaining and educational for children providing a crucial insight into the key reasons why our culture is the way it is today. To do this, GEM not only displays significant items from each of the periods it covers, it also puts those items in context.
Press Release Source:
Catherine Saunders-Watson for Geppi's Entertainment Museum