A: While Jack Kirby’s influence in our culture is vast, unfortunately his name, and even some of his influential work, is not well known. The Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center was founded in 2005 not with the donation of a physical collection, but with the willingness of its founders to build an entity to educate the public about the life and work of this incredible creator.
Q: What Is…?
A: The Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, based in Hoboken, New Jersey. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by the IRS.
Q: Who is …?
A: The Kirby Museum is operated by a small group of dedicated volunteers, including a four-member Board of Trustees which devotes its energies to expanding the future scope and services of the Museum. Trustee Rand Hoppe, who had the idea to create the Museum, acts as its Executive Director.
Q: Where Is …?
A: The Museum is currently a virtual, web-based entity, open to the public on a 24-7 basis, 365 days a year. The online image database and Museum publications are the primary educational resources available to Museum members and the general public. The Museum is also a frequent participant at comic conventions and takes part in academic workshops and seminars.
Q: What is the Museum’s Mission?
A: The Museum and Research Center was organized exclusively for educational purposes; more specifically, to promote and encourage the study, understanding, preservation and appreciation of the work of Jack Kirby by:
- illustrating the scope of Kirby’s multi-faceted career,
- communicating the stories, inspirations and influences of Jack Kirby,
- celebrating the life of Jack Kirby and his creations, and
- building understanding of comicbooks and comicbook creators.
To this end, the Museum sponsors and otherwise supports study, teaching, conferences, discussion groups, exhibitions, displays, publications and cinematic, theatrical or multimedia productions.
Q: What kind of collection does the Museum have?
A: Due to our limited volunteer and financial resources, the Museum is not actively building a physical collection. We have a small collection of Kirby paper and ephemera, and have been slowly acquiring Kirby and Kirby-related publications. We have also acquired a few pieces of original Kirby art, with some pieces on loan from a member of the Kirby family. Our main, formal focus since 2006, however, has been building our digital archive of scans of Kirby artwork.
Q: What does the Museum’s digital archive contain?
A: Thanks to the Kirby family, original art dealers, and art collectors, we have been building a collection of archival quality scans of Jack Kirby artwork. Values of Kirby art have skyrocketed, so rather than raise funds to acquire actual artwork, we’ve scanned almost 4000 pages of Kirby originals, as well as close to 5000 pages of photocopies of Kirby’s pencil drawings. Our scan files are backed up across geographical locations, as well as in the cloud.
Q: How can the Museum’s digital archive be viewed?
A: As of this writing, we’re rebuilding the web access to the digital archive, where there will be different levels of access for the general public, museum members, and researchers. Queries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Does the Museum accept donations of Jack Kirby-related art and memorabilia?
A: Yes. Such contributions qualify (above a certain level of valuation) as tax-deductible donations, according to IRS regulations.
Q: How does the Museum handle and preserve such donations?
A: The Museum customarily catalogs artwork, images and authenticated documents it acquires, whether through donations or through purchase, into its digital database. The original items are preserved in a secure, commercial, climate-controlled storage facility that is indemnified against theft or destruction.
Q: Will there be another Kirby Museum Pop-Up?
A: We’ve been building our Brick and Mortar Fund for our pop-ups since late 2011, which helped us with our successful week-long pop-up storefront museum near Kirby’s birthplace on New York City’s Lower East Side in November 2013. We are always looking for pop-up opportunities.
Q: What are the benefits of Museum membership?
A: When the Museum was founded in 2005, the Kirby family donated a stock of vintage Kirby posters to help us raise funds. These posters are still offered as gifts to new members. When our new Digital Archive goes live, Museum members will have special access to certain images.
Q: How do I join the Museum?
A: We accept credit cards(through SquareUp), cash, and checks at conventions and our pop-ups. Online you can use PayPal to send your donation, or to really provide us with ongoing support, you can set up an annual membership “Subscription” through PayPal. If you’re going to send a donation through the postal service, send a check or money order only, please.