BLOOMINGTON (AP) -- An auction of Snoopy statues on Sunday raised $823,000 that will help fund a Peanuts statue and other memorials to Minnesota native and Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.
Peanuts fans from across the country paid $200 each just for the right to bid on the 40 statues sold by Sotheby's at the Mall of America. The statues were among the 101 Snoopys created and designed by local artists that graced St. Paul this summer as a tribute to the late cartoonist.
The highest bid was $35,000 for the Snoopy dubbed "Jolly Golfer," which had been displayed at the Highland Park Golf Course, where Schulz caddied as a teen-ager. The lowest sale price was still a substantial $11,000 for "Memories," which had been sponsored by the University of St. Thomas and was decorated with yearbook photographs, mall spokeswoman Lou Ann Bravinder said.
Four of Schulz' five adult children attended the auction, and they called it a very special tribute for their father. His daughter, Jill Schulz-Transki of Santa Barbara, Calif., recalled what a hit the whimsical statues of a frolicking Snoopy had been.
"To see such a welcome from people, to see the joy on the children's faces running up to Snoopy, there is nobody, and I'm certain of this, who would have had a bigger smile on their face ... (than) our father," she said.
At the direction of Schulz' family, the proceeds will be used for a permanent bronze sculpture in St. Paul featuring the Peanuts gang, an endowed chair of illustration at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, and scholarships to the Art Instruction Schools, a Minneapolis correspondence school where Schulz studied and taught.
The auctioned statues will be on display at the Mall and its Camp Snoopy indoor amusement park through Monday night.
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