Pulling Strings: The Art and Marionettes of Gustave Baumann


The seven stages displayed in this exhibition relate to printed stories and scripts that the Baumann family gave to the museum.  Unfortunately, not all of the scripts are complete and some of the stage materials related to the scripts did not survive.  From the evidence that remains, Gus, Ann and perhaps others continually rewrote the scripts, and new scripts were created reusing some of the more popular characters and backdrops.  The stages presented therefore relate to the scripts and photographs that remain, but are sometimes only approximate re-creations of these story lines.

Additionally, artist Ligia Bouton created a charming installation, Waiting for Baumann, in reaction to the Pulling Strings exhibit as her part of the Alternative Spaces exhibit.

Introduction to "Pulling Strings"
Gustave Baumann (1881--1971) and his family emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1891.

The Birthday of the Infanta
Based on the famous painting Las Menina (1656), the stage presents the Infanta, or Princess, of Spain and her attendants.

Christmas on Giumbo Island
This Christmas story is set in the South Seas on the imaginary Giumbo Island.

A Folk Legend of San Isidro
San Isidro is a determined farmer who attempts to work his fields on a Sunday.

The Golden Dragon Mine
Like an Old West melodrama, The Golden Dragon Mine begins ...

Indian Dances
Some of the most spectacular marionettes are of Native Americans.

Saint Francis
St. Francis' vision of Christ on a cross encourages the saint to continue his vows of poverty ...

Tia Sucia
Duendes (brownies or sprites), named Pete and Juan, cause mischief in the house to compel Tía Sucia to clean.

Articles about Baumann from El Palacio

"Concerning a Small Untroubled World"
by Gustave Baumann
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"Gustave Baumann"
by Calla Hay
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"Gustave Baumann: A Century of Delight"
by Juliet Curry
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"Gustave Baumann's Marionette Theater"
by Calla Hay
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"Ann Baumann; Her Life in a Home Full of Art"
by Carmella Padilla
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