The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present the grand opening of its new exhibition Swing into Action: Maurice Sendak and the World of Puppetry, curated by Ballard Institute director Dr. John Bell on Thursday, July 7, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. The opening will include in-person performances and an exhibition tour; the exhibition tour will be streamed on Ballard Institute’s Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/). All events will take place at the Ballard Institute, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs. The exhibition will be on display through Friday, December 16, 2022.
Although Maurice Sendak was not a puppeteer, he understood the nature of puppetry’s never-ending fascination with objects, images, movement, music, and text, and how the creation of those combinations with a collaborative team of artists can make puppets come alive. This exhibition, created in partnership with The Maurice Sendak Foundation, will look at the various ways Sendak designed, collected, and collaborated with puppets and puppet productions, from his childhood days making mechanical toys with his brother, to his collections of Mickey Mouse memorabilia, his inventive collaborations with puppeteer Amy Luckenbach, his puppet designs for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Mozart Opera Goose of Cairo, and the way Sendak’s book inspired Sonny Gerasimowicz’s creatures for Spike Jonze’s film Where the Wild Things Are.
The grand opening of Swing Into Action will include live performances of a new toy theater spectacle by UConn Puppet Arts graduate students Abigail Baird and Jaron Hollander based on Sendak’s 1993 book We Are All in the Dumps With Jack and Guy.
The Ballard Institute will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Face masks are strongly recommended but not required.