Hand Puppet made by Bil Baird

Description (Brief):

This carved wooden clown hand puppet with a white face was created by Bil Baird for Miguel V. Varell, circa 1927-1928. It is wearing a peaked orange cap with black trim, red and yellow collar, green jacket, red, green, and yellow pants, and red shoes. It has carved hands, a yellow hand skirt for puppeteer, and a metal hanging hook.

Description (Brief)

Originally from Budapest, Hungary, Miquel Varell immigrated to the United States after World War I in search of a better life. Despite a lack of any formal training in the theater, Varell's lifelong love of puppetry inspired him to establish a puppet company based on a European style Grand Guignol, or Punch and Judy, traveling show. But Varell needed someone to create the puppets based on his own specifications. He approached Tony Sarg, his friend and well known puppeteer, to find someone who could create the puppets according to his specifications. Sarg recommended his young apprentice, Bil Baird, to create the puppets for Varell's theater.

Description (Brief)

Using the puppets provided by Baird, Varell constructed his own portable theater, including stage sets and backgrounds, and performed at schools, clubs, and children's parties. Sadly, his career was short lived. The European style of puppetry, based on expression and moment, was replaced with talking puppets, and Varell spoke only broken English.

Date Made: 1927 - 1928

Maker: Baird, BilUser: Varell, Miquel V.Maker: Baird, Bill

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New York, New York City

Subject: Puppetry


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Entertainment, Puppets


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Lia V. Dingfelder

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1993.0168.03Accession Number: 1993.0168Catalog Number: 1993.0168.03

Object Name: Puppet

Physical Description: wood (overall material)fabric (overall material)metal (hook material)Measurements: overall: 47 cm x 31 cm; 18 1/2 in x 12 3/16 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a8-e220-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1030602

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