By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — TICONDEROGA -- Not even the mighty Tarzan can stop the demise of the Ticonderoga Cartoon Museum.
Although original art featuring the Lord of the Jungle is on display at the museum, it will join the rest of the 700-piece collection to become part of the Pittsburgh Toonseum next month.
Cartoon Museum Director Stan Burdick has donated the museum's collection to the Toonseum.
MORE WILL SEE IT
Standing in the museum, surrounded by cartoons of every type and size, he said the collection is going to a good home.
"I started this to share my collection with the public. Now it will be at the Toonseum in downtown Pittsburgh, where they have lots of visitors."
The museum represented his personal collection of 50 years, Burdick said. It has been housed in the Ticonderoga Community Building basement for six years. Before that, it was in the Hague Town Hall for six years.
His accumulation, appraised at $100,000, includes art by Frank Frazetta, Neil Adams, even Norman Rockwell.
"I'm a great collector," Burdick said. "My wife calls me a pack rat. I filled the attic, the barn, the cellar. Then I said, 'I'll start a museum.'"
His first acquisition was a drawing by Cincinnati Enquirer cartoonist L.D. Warren in 1960.
"Now the collection can stay as a unit," Burdick said. "We've had thousands and thousands of visitors. Now it can be seen by many more thousands of people."
The Cartoon Museum will close Aug. 31, he said, and the Toonseum will send a truck for it the first week in September.
PREPARING FOR DISPLAY
Pittsburgh Toonseum Director Joe Wos said the Toonseum is honored to receive the Burdick collection.
"Over two days this September, staff members will catalog, prepare and safely pack the 700 pieces of art. Each piece will be carefully cataloged for future exhibition at the Toonseum."
Wos said the collection will bring their holdings to more than 3,000 pieces of cartoon art.
"Some pieces will be restored and framed for immediate display. Others will be a part of the permanent collection and displayed as both part of rotating collections and special exhibits."
At some point, the Burdick collection will be part of a permanent collections gallery, Wos said.
"We are delighted to carry on the mission of Stan Burdick and the spirit of the Ticonderoga Cartoon Museum."
Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Debra Malaney said they're sorry to see the museum go.
"The Cartoon Museum is a great resource. It's been a benefit to the community for many years."
Burdick said running the museum was a lot of work, which prompted his decision.
"I will miss it desperately. It's been part of my life. It's my passion."
Burdick said his favorite illustrator is Prince Valiant artist Hal Foster.
"He was a fine illustrator who moved into the comic pages. He was tops as far as shading, the ability to create a scene."
Foster, who died in 1982, wrote and drew Prince Valiant Sunday strips from the 1930s to 1970s. His work influenced generations of artists in creating realistic comics characters.
One thing he'll miss about the Cartoon Museum are the visitors, Burdick said, as he gave tours to two Westchester County residents who had just walked in.
"I like to see people laugh when they see this. I hope people will come and see us before we close."
The museum is open Friday afternoons until the end of the month and by appointment by calling 585-7015.
The 84-year-old Burdick, who's a cartoonist himself, said he's not giving up his interest in cartoon art.
"I'll keep drawing pictures. I worked for several newspapers as a cartoonist, many little papers. I have lots of things to do."
E-mail Lohr McKinstry at: email@example.com