The Bread and Puppet Museum
Bread and Puppet Theater
The museum is open June 1 to November 1, daily 10 am to 6:00 pm, and is also open before and after evening performances. There is a museum tour every Saturday at 6:00pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm during July and August. During the cold months, it is officially closed, but may be opened by appointment or chance.
Admission is free; donations are welcome
The Bread and Puppet Museum is a massive accumulation of the puppets, masks, paintings and graphics of the Bread and Puppet Theater, housed in a 150-year-old barn in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, 25 miles south of the Canadian border. It is one of the largest collections of some of the biggest puppets and masks in the world. It was created in 1974 when Bread and Puppet Theater moved to this former dairy farm after a residency at Goddard College, and before that close to a decade in New York City. The museum is full to the brim; its population density is an expression not only of the accumulations of time but of the urgencies which inspired the making of so much stuff: the poverty of the poor, the arrogance of the war-mongers, the despair of the victims, and maybe even stronger than that, the glory of this whole god-given world. And naturally, all this will decay in due course.
Grouped according to theme, color, or size, the puppets recreate dramatic scenes from bygone shows and form striking compositions with hand-printed banners and paper-mache reliefs. Over the years, the collection has expanded to fill two floors in the barn and now spills out into the woodshed, the Cheap Art bus across the road, and onto the walls of the Paper-Mache Cathedral behind the barn.