Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

minstrel show marionette
  • United States
  • minstrel show marionette, 1850s
  • Where object was made: United States
  • wood, cloth, velvet, wool, wood, paint, plastic, glass?, ribbon, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 104.5 x 42 x 17 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 41 1/8 x 16 1/2 x 6 11/16 in
  • Gift of Hazelle H. Rollins
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5050

The large marionette is a man wearing a black jacket with grey diagonal stripes, a white shirt, a red corduroy vest and blue and white striped trousers. He also has a faded black velvet hat with a red ribbon hatband. There are red plastic buttons on the vest and black plastic buttons on the jacket.

His face is black with white rimmed eyes, white wool for eyebrows, sideburns, beard, and hair. He has an articulated mouth with red lips. He has blue glass eyes. His hands and shoes are also black. There is black string from the ankles, wrists and head to the wooden hand controller.

This marionette was part of a minstrel show that provided entertainment on Mississippi riverboats.