Hidden Gem: Boston Public Library Marionettes


The Dwiggins Marionettes at the Boston Public Library

Tucked away on the third floor of Boston Public Library in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department is an entertaining miniature theatre complete with beautifully carved wooden Marionettes.

Donated in 1967 by the widow of William Addison Dwiggins, a well-known graphic artist, typographer, illustrator and woodcarver this collection includes all of his various art activities.

Dwiggins was born in 1880 in Ohio, studied art in Chicago and settled in Hingham, MA where he lived for the rest of his life. He worked in advertising and was known for his type design. To relieve the pressures from work he created a miniature theatre and a puppet group named the Püterschein Authority in a garage behind his home. Later he built a theatre at his studio where he held many performances.

The collection includes his marionettes, his workbench and tools, self-designed furniture, original drawings for his typefaces, more than 400 sketches for his book illustrations and 300 books of his designs

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