Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, MD offers a look at over 250 years of American pop culture memorabilia. The collection of over 6,000 artifacts includes games, toys, comic books, dolls, and more. The museum is housed in the historic Camden Station in Baltimore, Maryland. The permanent collection is exhibited in 7 different rooms and takes visitors through a timeline of American pop culture, from the earliest days of the United States to the present. The Story in Four Colors exhibit features comic books and their role in the development of pop culture’s most influential characters. The Extra! Extra! exhibit features the development of newspaper comics from 1776 to 1927, and the characters’ role in entertaining families and pitching products and ideas. The years 1928 through 1945 are represented in the exhibit When Heroes Unite, which introduces flying superheroes, from Mickey Mouse to Superman, who were inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s historic trans-Atlantic flight. America Tunes In chronicles the period from 1946 to 1960. With the introduction of television in the post-war era, superheroes entered American homes along with news of world events. Rock ‘n roll was also taking America by storm, and pop culture characters reflected this fascination. The Revolution exhibit reflects the period from 1961 to 1970, in which comic book characters espoused current events from rock ‘n roll culture to Cold War villains. The Expanding Universe exhibit shows visitors how new technologies allowed for an increased focus on home entertainment between 1971 and 1990, when video games rose to popularity. Going Global chronicles the rise of multimedia, pop culture on the internet, and the resurgence of old “vintage” favorites.
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History: Stephen A. Geppi, the CEO of Diamond Comic Distributers, founded the Entertainment Museum in 2006. Mr. Geppi owned several comic book stores in Baltimore in the 1970s, and subsequently founded the largest comic book direct distribution service in 1982. Diamond Comic Distributers is still in operation today. Geppi’s privately owned museum consists of over 16,000 square feet of exhibition space. A passionate collector himself, Geppi has donated most of the artifacts from his own private collection. The permanent collection was organized by the museum’s founding curator, Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg, founder of Gemstone Publishing, a publisher of comic books and collector’s guides. The family-run museum is helmed by Geppi’s daughter, Melissa Geppi-Bowersox, who was promoted to the role of president in 2012. The museum is accompanied by Geppi’s Comic World, the museum store, which offers a variety of comic books and collectibles and is named in honor of Geppi’s original comic store chain.
Ongoing Programs and Education: School groups and others are welcome at the Entertainment Museum for group tours. Tours may be arranged to align with a particular theme or area of study. Educational talks are held occasionally on the museum’s 3rd floor. The museum is host to a number of public events and may be rented for private events. Zombie Gras is an annual Mardi Gras party in which guests meet at the museum, get outfitted as zombies, then zombie-walk the streets for meals at participating restaurants. The Pirates and Princess Party is an annual costume event for children. Kids participate in games and activities in the museum dressed as their favorite princess or pirate.
Past and Future Exhibits: Pioneer Spirit: Baltimore Heroes showcases the hometown heroes of Baltimore who have influenced the growth and character of the city since its founding in 1729. This special exhibit opened in 2011 and includes personal items belonging to the museum’s founder as well as donated items that reflect the cultural contributions of Baltimore, nicknamed “Charm City” in 1975. Visitors can nominate a Baltimore leader or entertainer to be included in the Pioneer Spirit exhibit. Voting takes place online three times per year. Other rotating exhibits have included Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond as well as a special exhibit on Star Wars. An exhibit on the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide explored the history of the annually published guide. Since 1970 it has been considered the foremost authority for collectors on standardized comic book pricing.
What’s Nearby: Also located in the historic Camden Station at Camden Yards is the Sports Legends Museum. This museum is on the first floor directly underneath Geppi’s Entertainment Museum and is a nonprofit museum managed by the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum.
301 W. Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, website, Phone: 410-625-7060
Back to: Baltimore, MD