Donated to the Museum in 1973 by his wife Jane Baumann, the marionettes, props, and other stage material have been used in Christmas productions since 1935. Originally intended to amuse their daughter Anne in their home, the marionettes quickly became well-known in the Santa Fe community and performances were soon offered annually in St. Francis auditorium in the Museum. Although the marionettes are much loved in Santa Fe, there has never been a complete display of them in theatrical settings.
To recreate the experience of viewing the marionettes on stage, an audiotape will accompany the exhibition and give viewers the opportunity to hear actors perform sections of the scripts written by Gustave Baumann and his associates.
In addition to the staged marionettes, the exhibition will present prints and paintings by Baumann that are part of the Museum’s collection of over 2,000 works by the artist. Baumann’s works produced in New Mexico that relate to the theatrical performances of the marionettes will be emphasized.