Geppi’s Entertainment Museum Closes, Collection Goes to Library of Congress
Steve Geppi, president and CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors, is shutting down Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. The last open day of the Baltimore, Maryland, museum (which started in 2006) will be Sunday, June 3, and that day will have free admission.
The collection of more than 3,000 comic book and pop culture items will be donated to the Library of Congress, to be displayed beginning this summer. Oddly, the museum promotes exhibits of “nearly 6,000 pop culture artifacts including comics, toys, dolls, games, and memorabilia of every conceivable category.” So I guess Geppi is keeping some of it.
The history of the museum has been checkered, with local papers in 2010 calling a deal to reduce the museum’s rent one of 2009’s “biggest scams” because “The Maryland Stadium Authority reduce[d] politically well-connected businessman Steve Geppi’s $367,820 rent at the state’s Camden Station by 31 percent after Geppi misses 19 monthly rent payments.” That’s around the time Geppi’s various companies were dealing with a lot of debt, revealed through various lawsuits. In 2010, various collectible deals went bad, with Geppi acquiring collections and then, according to court documents, ceasing to keep paying on them. But there’s not much about his business dealings more recently.
“The Library of Congress is home to the nation’s largest collection of comic books, cartoon art and related ephemera and we celebrate this generous donation to the American people that greatly enhances our existing holdings,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
Says the press release, “Geppi will continue to be an active collector and will be considering other donations to the Library of Congress in the future.”