Sarah Frechette, Rose from “What the Moon Saw,” 2014. Mixed media, 16 x 8 x 9 inches. Courtesy Sarah Frechette. Photography by Jessie Forand.

Visual Art and Storytelling Collide in Shelburne Museum’s Upcoming Exhibition, Puppets: World on a String


October 14, 2017

Press Contact: Geeda Searfoorce

Marketing and Communications Manager

802-985-0881 (direct line)

(Shelburne, Vermont) Shelburne Museum’s forthcoming exhibition, Puppets: World on a String, will be on view in the Pizzagalli Center for Arts and Education’s Colgate Gallery from February 17, 2018 until June 3, 2018. This immersive exhibition will transport visitors into magical realms where animals speak, shadows come alive, and politicians face their harshest critics. Storytelling and the visual arts collide in this exciting exhibition featuring multimedia works of art by local and national artists. From 19th century marionettes to contemporary digital installations, these works push the boundaries of our concepts of this age-old art form. Puppets: World on a String celebrates the wonder of puppets while investigating the ways that puppet theater mediates between worlds both real and imagined.

The history of puppets is rich and varied, dating back 3000 years, spanning a multitude of cultures. This ancient art form was one of the first tools for communicating stories and expressing creativity. Today, puppets are rarely examined within the context of fine arts. However, this multi-media craft can be esteemed for its seamless marriage of performance and visual arts, pairing masterfully sculptured figurines and set designs with storytelling and choreographed movements to create total works of art through interactive happenings.

Puppets: World on a String provides an introductory survey to the art of puppets, presenting a range of historical to contemporary works in a variety of mediums and forms. Moreover, this exhibition explores the duality of fictional and non-fictional worlds crafted by puppeteers. Serving as surrogates for the artists, puppets offer ways for audiences to escape reality. Through performances, viewers are invited to enter into fantastical and otherworldly realms as well as examine topical issues from everyday life. Both of these dueling worlds are explored within this exhibition, creating moments of social and personal critique and reflection, demonstrating the profound powers of puppetry.

In addition to objects from Shelburne Museum’s permanent collection which have not been on view for over a decade, other artists featured in Puppets: World on a String include: Frank Ballard, Sarah Frechette, Laura Heit, Jane Henson, Jim Henson, Christina Jankowski, Rick Meyerowitz, Tony Oursler, Margo and Rufus Rose, Peter Schumann, Betsy Tobin and Andy Warhol.

What: Puppets: World on a String exhibition

When: February 17 – June 3, 2018

Where: Shelburne Museum, in the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education’s Colgate Gallery

Who: Curated by Carolyn Bauer, featuring works by Jim Henson, Andy Warhol, Peter Schumann of Bread and Puppet Theater, and more.


Founded in 1947 by sugar heiress and pioneering folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888–1960), Shelburne Museum is the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s foremost public resource for visual art and material culture. The museum is now open year-round, with the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Webb Gallery featuring important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley, and many more. For more information, please visit

Shelburne Museum

6000 Shelburne Road or PO Box 10

Shelburne, VT 05482