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Detroit Institute of Arts to display Royal Marionettes, Large-scale puppets from days of Vaudeville on view beginning June 29

Thursday, June 02, 2011

June 2, 2011 (Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will display some of the best examples of American “Royal Marionettes,” from its Paul McPharlin Puppetry Collection from June 29, 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012.

Artists and puppeteers Walter Deaves, Daniel Meader and others followed a tradition of marionette theater introduced to America by English puppeteers in the 1870s. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, these puppets were part of large troupes that performed in music halls and vaudeville theaters around the world in acts that featured strange and surprising characters.

The intricate, large-scale marionettes are wonderful examples of puppetry stage-craft design. They are remarkably well-preserved, with elaborate costumes, and will be shown with stage sets and dramatic lighting.

The “cast of characters” that will be on view include: Skeleton; Clown on Stilts; Pat and Biddy: A Pair of Irish Dancers; Diver; Octopus; Scaramouche; Harlequin; and Pair of Devils.

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for DIA members. For membership information call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit.

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899

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