“Frank Ballard: Roots and Branches” exhibition re-opens with new additions

The popular Frank Ballard: Roots and Branches exhibition at the Ballard Institute has re-opened for the season, with many new additions to this rich review of the wide-ranging puppet forms that influenced the work of the founder of UConn’s puppetry programs.  Roots and Branches features the work of significant American puppeteers of the early, mid-, and late-twentieth century whose work Frank saw while growing up in Illinois: Martin and Olga Stevens, Tony Sarg, Jero Magon, Rufus and Margo Rose, and Romain and Ellen Proctor; as well as contemporary puppeteers from across the country, including Ralph Chessé, the Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera, Bil Baird, Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin, and the Turnabout Theater; and Ballard’s own contemporaries and colleagues, including Sidney Chrysler, Jim Henson, Dick Myers, Basil Milovsoroff, George Latshaw, and Peter Schumann.

Bust of Jim Henson by Margo Rose

The exhibition also features Asian and European puppet forms that also influenced Ballard’s understanding of puppetry, including Javanese wayang kulit shadow puppets, Chinese shadow theater, Sicilian marionette theater, and Javanese wayang golek rod puppets.