Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Sara B. Marcketti


One part conservation assessment and one part historical background, this thesis stems from work conducted in the summer of 2012 at MacNider Art Museum in Mason City, Iowa. Funded by the Otto Thieme Scholarship from the Costume Society of America, the research offers a morphological study of the 400 puppets in the Bil Baird puppet collection. Spanning the period from 1918 to 1987, the puppets examined offer a survey of American history throughout the 20th century, in context as well as content. The research catalogued the constituent parts of the object with suggestions for conservation. In an effort to draw parallels between 20th century puppetry and contemporary puppet conservation, this paper explores the literature regarding the history of puppetry, basic puppet kinematics, and American marionette theatre. The research seeks to underscore the assessment by offering historical background on the puppeteer, Bil Baird and provide a reference for conserving a historic puppet collection.

Copyright Owner

Katharine Celia Greder



File Format


File Size

90 pages