Ballet Dancer Marionette

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Description (Brief)
Created by Roy Patton in 1940,this lovely hand carved and painted marionette was used to advertise a line of cosmetics in a major department store in New York City. She is dressed in what was once an elegant silk dress adorned with flowers and sequins with tiny ballet slippers on her feet. She is operated with an airplane control and nine strings.
In the early 1940s, Revlon, a major cosmetic company, employed the use of this glamorous marionette to promote its product line at a major department store on Fifth Ave in New York City. Set against a black back drop, the female puppeteer was clothed entirely in black with just her hands and face unveiled. As the marionette danced across the store window, the audience saw only the beautifully manicured nail polish and the newest lip stick color on the puppeteer as she worked the marionette.
Roy's interest in puppets began at an early age. Raised as Quakers , he and his brother Harry were taught Bible stories through puppet shows that were staged in the community. Both Roy and Harry were drawn to puppetry; and became interested in creating puppets and constructing stage settings. In 1934 Roy joined the Tatterman Marionette Company and became a master carver. Roy followed a few years later as a puppeteer and set designer.
This marionette was a gift from the late Harry Patton, a former employee of the Smithsonian's Museum of American History...
Currently not on view
Date made
Patton, Roy E.
place made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
fabric (overall material)
string (overall material)
wood (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 14 1/2 in x 6 in; 36.83 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Harry J. Patton
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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