TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga Cartoon Museum is leaving town.
The local collection of more than 700 pieces has been been donated to the Pittsburgh ToonSeum, a museum dedicated to cartooning.
"I've been collecting cartoons for 60 years," said Stan Burdick, owner and director of the Ti Cartoon Museum. "It's been a passion of mine. I'll miss that, but now I can turn to other things."
A cartoonist himself, Burdick said he will continue to draw.
"I'll continue to do cartoons around and about," he said. "I'm always looking for opportunities. I'll keep busy working with Cathie and the Ti Festival Guild."
Burdick's wife, Cathie, is executive director of the Ticonderoga Festival Guild, which brings arts programs to the community each summer.
Burdick established his cartoon museum 12 years ago in Hague. He moved it to Ticonderoga six years ago.
More than 3,000 people have toured the museum in the in the basement of the Ticonderoga Community Building.
"It's been very rewarding," Burdick said.
Valued at more than $100,000, the local collection will become the Burdick Gallery at the ToonSeum, according to Joe Wos, executive director of the Pittsburgh facility.
"Some people have suggested I sell pieces on Ebay, but I didn't want to break up the collection," Burdick said. "I want it to have its own identity as a cartoon museum."
Wos said the Pittsburgh museum is grateful to receive the collection.
"It is a great honor to be selected to preserve the remarkable cartoon legacy of Stan and Cathie Burdick," Wos said. "We have a common mission and vision, and look forward to sharing this art with the public for decades to come."
The Ticonderoga Cartoon Museum is open Friday 1-4 p.m. and by appointment by calling Burdick at 585-7015. It will close for good Aug. 31.
"People have heard we're closing and want to see the collection; last Friday we had more than 30 people," Burdick said. "I urge people to see it while they have a chance."
Besides the collection, the Ticonderoga Cartoon Museum has offered special programs, including group cartoon classes, visiting cartoonist guest days, daytime school visits, and "We'll Bring the Museum to You" events when Burdick takes parts of the collection into the community.
Burdick plans to remain in Ticonderoga, although he plans to visit Pittsburgh and the ToonSeum to see his collection.
"I definitely want to see how it looks," he said.
Located in downtown Pittsburgh's cultural district, the ToonSeum works to promote a deeper appreciation of the cartoonists and their work through hands-on workshops, community outreach, cartoon-oriented educational programming and exhibitions or original cartoon art.