Bread & Puppet Museum

This was one of the tourist stops on Bean’s latest visit. I copied the following description of the Bread & Puppet Museum from the Internet. However, all the photos were taken by me.

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A Creepy Vermont Museum

Housed in a 150-year-old barn in Glover, Vermont is an incredible collection of puppets. These are not your ordinary puppets like the friendly and fuzzy Elmo. Think more along the lines of the unsettling Lady Elaine Fairchilde from Mr. Rogers’ Land of Make-Believe, only much much bigger. The creepy collection in the puppet barn is whimsical, and artistic.

The Bread and Puppet Museum is one of the world’s largest collections of masks and giant puppets. It is housed in an old 2-story barn in the Northeast Kingdom in the town of Glover. The museum is filled to the brim with these larger than life creations that were used in theatrical performances, parades, and political demonstrations. Now, the barn is a graveyard of sorts giving the puppets a place to rest and slowly decay.

The impressive contents of the museum are an accumulation of decades of hard work. The Bread and Puppet Theater began in New York City in 1963. Peter Schumann, the director and founder of the theater is the artist behind the puppets and masks. But the production of these over-sized creations was a community effort involving puppeteers, friends, and neighbors.

Layer upon layer of paper-mache is applied over the clay models created by Peter Schumann. The painstaking process yields magnificent results. The production crew then adds materials like cardboard or rummage sale clothing to finish the puppets.

Wander through the barn at your leisure and discover something new around every corner. Some of the displays are quite macabre and conjure up a spooky Halloween feeling. While other placements of the puppets will make you feel right at home. Don’t forget to look up, there are literally puppets hanging from the rafters too. The museum also features paintings and graphics from the Bread and Puppet Theater.

The puppet barn is open to the public from June 1 – November 1 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and before and after performances on certain evenings. Take a guided tour through the museum on Sundays at 1 p.m. during the months of July and August. Admission to the barn is free but donations to help out this non-profit group are always welcome.