File puptcrit/puptcrit.0803, message 518

Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 09:28:55 -0400
To: <>
Subject: [Puptcrit] "Puppets through the Lens" at the Ballard Institute and

Dear Puptcrit Colleagues,
  Please see below the press release (below) about our upcoming "Puppets through the Lens" exhibition at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry in Storrs, Connecticut, and consider yourselves invited to the opening, on Sunday, April 27.  If you are in the Northeast from then until the end of November, please come by and visit!

John Bell
The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry                           
University of Connecticut
Depot Campus
6 Bourn Place U-5212
Storrs, Connecticut  06269-5212
860 486 0339     

March 25, 2008

For Immediate Release
Puppet and Visual Art Exhibit (for all ages)
Media Contact: John Bell, 617 599 3250 (cell), 860 486 0806 (work),
[300 dpi images available]


 	"Puppets through the Lens", a brand-new exhibition of puppets in film, television, and the avant-garde, will bring over sixty famous and obscure puppets, from across the United States to the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut, from April 27, 2008 to November 30, 2008.

	"Puppets through the Lens" will feature famous puppets from film and television, including Howdy Doody; Shari Lewis's Lambchop and Charlie Horse; Jim Henson's Scooter; Davey and Goliath; the Jukebox Band from Shining Time Station; a Compsognathus dinosaur from Jurassic Park II, and the Gopher from Caddyshack.  It will also feature rod puppets used in an episode of Murder, She Wrote; historic figures from landmark 1930s puppet films by Margo and Rufus Rose and Bil Baird, and Frank and Elizabeth Haines; and 1950s television puppets by San Francisco's Ralph Chessé and Cincinnati's Larry Smith.  The exhibition will also feature compelling examples from contemporary avant-garde puppetry by such artists as Janie Geiser, Jeff Sias, Basil Milovsoroff, Theodora Skipitares, Laura Heit, Sandow Birk, and Paul Zaloom; as well as innovative internet puppetry created by Jim Napolitano, Tim Lagasse, and Christine Papalexis.  A special section of the show will feature puppets in television advertising, including an animated telegram from a McDonald's commercial; a stop-action Santa Claus from a Canadian cell phone company ad; and, from Mike Bannon's commercials for Connecticut's Bob's Stores, a talking chair and an animated figure of Bob's Stores founder Bob Lapidus.

	Each element of the "Puppets through the Lens" exhibit, according the Ballard Institute Director, Dr. John Bell, will include three aspects: the puppets themselves, the contexts in which they were filmed, and footage from the final product.  "We are interested not only in showing magnificent and historically important examples of American puppetry," Bell said, "but also in explaining how exactly puppet movement is captured by the camera in film and television studios and on stage."  Dr. Bell, a puppet historian, adds that "one of the most important characteristics of modern puppetry is its intimate connection with moving pictures, from the early days of film in the late nineteenth century, to the very first experiments with television in the 1930s, and now the latest examples of puppet performance on Youtube and other internet sites.  Puppet through the Lens will examine this continuing tradition, so we can understand its history and its possibilities for the future."  

	The gala opening of "Puppets through the Lens" will take place on Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 2 p.m., at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry's Depot Campus home at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.  The opening will feature refreshments, performances, appearances by many of the participating puppeteers, and guided tours of the exhibit by the curators.

	"Puppets through the Lens" and the Ballard Museum will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. from April 27th through November 30th.  The museum is also open by special appointment.  The Ballard Museum welcomes school groups and community groups.  Special tours and workshops are available.

	A lecture/performance series of talks, performances, and film showings by artists, curators, and historians will take place during the run of the exhibit; details will be announced later in the spring.

"Puppets through the Lens" at The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
Description:  An exhibition of puppets in film, television, and the internet from across the United States, from the 1930s to the present.
Exhibit details:
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 27, 2-6 p.m.  Free Admission. 
Regular Museum Hours: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 12 to 5 p.m. from April 27 through November 30, 2008; or by special appointment. 
Admission: Admission is free; donations are accepted.
Contact: Stefano Brancato, 860 486 0339;;
Directions: The Ballard Institute is located at 6 Bourn Place on the Depot Campus of the University of Connecticut, just off Route 44 in Storrs, Connecticut.  See for directions.


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