Davos Investor Collects Art: Peanuts Comic Strips

Pablo Picasso painted Guernica and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Charles Schulz drew Linus, Lucy, and Charlie Brown. Do they deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence?

Scott Minerd thinks so. He’s the managing partner and chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners of Santa Monica, Calif., with about $160 billion under management. I asked him today if he thought a Picasso would be a better long-term investment than stocks or gold. He said yes but quickly added: “I collect the works of Schulz.”

Hmmm, I thought. “Schulz.” Unfamiliar name. Perhaps one of the German Expressionists? Nope. He meant Charles M. Schulz, the creator of the beloved Peanuts comic strip, who died in 2000.

Minerd told me he loved Peanuts as a child and has personally amassed “probably the largest private collection of Schulz in the world,” including story boards for the “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” television special. It so happens that the Minerd collection is having its world debut right now at the Laguna College of Art and Design.

Don’t scoff. Norman Rockwell was once considered a mere illustrator but is today regarded as a major American artist, Minerd says. Schulz, he notes, communicated a wide range of emotions through his drawings and, with Snoopy, was the first artist to make a dog stand on its rear legs and think like a person.

Says Minerd: “He has all the markings of a great artist.”

Feel free to disagree. But Minerd didn’t get to manage $160 billion by being a bad judge of investments.

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