The marionette pictured here comes from a troupe called Baumkinder used by drama students at Manfield University, PA, in the mid-1960s. The students presented their hand-crafted figures and stories of their own making at schools, libraries, hospitals, colleges, and universities and on local television shows. The puppeteer group worked under the direction of Ruth Baum, a children's librarian who stumbled across a book about marionettes. She said she was immediately captivated by the combination of several kinds of play including modeling the figures, stagecraft, dramatics, design, and storytelling. For Baum, in making and painting the puppet head, constructing the body, designing and making clothes, the marionette's personality developed. "By the time he's finished," she said, "he's a real person and an old friend. So you never let him slip back into the inanimate state."


  • Title: Marionette:Treffie of the Baumkinder Troupe
  • Date Created: ca.1960
  • Location: Mansfield, PA
  • Subject Keywords: theater, drama, clown, marionette
  • Type: More Play Stuff
  • Medium: composition, fabric, wood, metal, string
  • Object ID: 113.17970
  • Credit Line: Gift of Ron and Karen Arthur in loving memory of Ruth K. Baum
  • Artist: Ruth Baum

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