The post brings a smile as puppets are wont to do.
I have myself intended to post on what seems the very Mecca of Puppetry , found right here in Los Angeles, the Pasadena based International Puppetry Museum.
Following Mr. Hicks-Jenkin’s lead , this is the result.
Having visited this museum on the advice of my chum Gina ( she being a member of a puppet making-performing-loving clan), I was instantly dazzled,and of course charmed beyond belief.
For in this somewhat forlorn parish hall of a somewhat faded Episcopal church was a treasure trove hidden in plain sight.
Although there was a display of puppets behind glass, thoughtfully presented; the bulk of the collection, hung over head in a jumble of strings, piled here in there in a chaotic jumble and perhaps more heartbreaking, painstakingly categorized and stored in pedestrian Rubbermaid containers; suitable perhaps for out of season suburban holiday decor, but not magic of this quality.
But the very sad, very real fact is this treasure trove of a museum cannot afford to properly display, archive, care for these gems without funding. Simple storage is the most immediate solution, the fear being of course a need to sell this amazing collection piece-meal. That would be a terrible tragedy.
Los Angeles had been, may still be , a hub of puppetry , the Industry had made great use of puppets magic. but in this grim de-humanized Digital Age, Anime reigns supreme; the subtle charms of string, felt and whitled wood do not seem to captivate our jaded youth.
That is until they witness an actual puppet show, then the enchantmnt begins anew.
My visit to IPM caught me off guard, I was not prepared to document what I found, equiped with my I-phone I simply clicked away. There is no attempt at identification, just memories of my own bewlderment. If you desire more information, please visit, and if you can PLEASE donate, we mustn’t lose this international treasure.
Beloved Punch has at last lost his head. For more images of dear Punch, check out this former post.
In closing I sincerely encourage a visit to the International Puppetry Museum, even just a quick peek at their site. You will be enchanted, and please if you can ,send along some cash, our Stringed friends need you.
Until next time,