Day 5: Friday June 3rd 2016
After 2 years, Miss Hannaford and I are finally back at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta Georgia, the largest museum in the world dedicated to all forms of puppetry.
In those 2 years, the Center has changed a great deal- with a new museum wing being built on the front of the old school building.
Top photo- how the Center looked in 2014, bottom photo how the Center looks now.
My visit began by sitting with Miss Hannaford on the replica Goblin Throne from the Jim Henson movie Labyrinth.
We then went to see the current resident puppet show called a the Swan- an Ugly Duckling Tale.
This show is from a French -Canadian puppet theatre so the puppeteer spoke to us first in French until he realised that his audience didn’t understand what hew was saying and he repeated himself in English.
After the show, Miss Hannaford and I went on a behind the scenes tour of the whole building. We got to see the storeroom where the puppets not on display are kept, the new library and research space, the education faculty where people can make their own puppets to take home or attend courses and lectures on puppetry. The next stop on the tour was the conservation laboratory where Miss Hannaford had lots of questions about how they preserve historical puppets that are made of foam. The conservators where very generous and gave Miss Hannaford samples of the Nufoam they use take home and find the Australian version.
After our visit to the conservation lab, Miss Hannaford and I got to have lunch with the resident puppet builders followed by a longer visit to the research library where Miss Hannaford got to look inside the archive box for Australian Puppetry. Inside that box were articles and information about Australian puppeteers and puppetry companies from the mid 1960’s to the early 1990’s. Normally researchers have to make a special application to be allowed to open the archive boxes but since Miss Hannaford was a special guest, she was given special permission to open a box of her choice and to take notes.
After Miss Hannaford finished in the archive, it was time to go back to the hotel after such a long, fun filled day.
Day 6: Saturday June 4th, 2016
Today was our second day at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Our first activity was to have a longer tour through the global collection and the Jim Henson wing of the new museum. We got to have our pictures taken with so many famous puppets and characters!
Since Miss Hannaford is a huge fan of the Muppets and makes lots of foam puppets, she took these photos so that she could see up close how these famous puppets were made.
After visiting the Jim Henson wing, Miss Hannaford and I toured the Global Collection which displays puppets from all over the world. Miss Hannaford’s favourite was the Gumby and Pokey claymation puppets. Miss Hannaford was really surprised at how small the puppets are. Gumby is only 15cm high and is much smaller than the other kinds of claymation puppets on display.
After touring the Worlds of Puppetry exhibit, Miss Hannaford’s next stop was the Build A Puppet workshop where people get to make a little puppet that they can take home. The puppet Miss Hannaford got to make was a little Cygnet- a baby swan using cardboard, paddle pop sticks and split pins.
Miss Hannaford and I had such a a wonderful time in Atlanta that we can’t wait to come back again but tomorrow we are off on the most exciting part of the trip- Beyond the Sock in Texas!!!