They look a little creepy, whimsical and politically incorrect, but during a time when children and adults did not have video games and hundreds of TV channels to chose from, the Proctor Puppets were a source of amusement and education.
SIUE students in the Museum Studies program are bringing a small portion of the Proctor collection to the Schmidt Art Center on the Belleville campus of Southwestern Illinois College for the SWIC Art Faculty Show & SIUE student exhibition. "Proctor Puppets: Showcasing Amusement" includes about 40 puppets, memorabilia and other items from the famous puppet company, along with artwork by SWIC Art Department Faculty.
Students in the SIUE program opened the Proctor Puppet archive for the first time in about 20 years. They spent the semester going through archives, researching, identifying and documenting the collection that will be on display.
"Being able to physically do an installation, it's a good thing to have on your resume," said Deanna Lally SIUE graduate student in her first year of the museum studies program. Most of the students in the program hope to work in museum and art institutions.
Students will be on hand during the opening reception tonight to answer questions about the Proctor family and the puppets.
The Proctor family traveled the world with their puppets during the Great Depression and World War II, and it shows in the handmade puppets on display.
What: Artwork by Southwestern Illinois College's Art Department Faculty & Selections from the Proctor Puppet Collection at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, an exhibition by students of SIUE's Museum Studies Program.
Where: Schmidt Art center on the Belleville Campus of Southwestern Illinois College.
Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m. today.
When: The exhibit runs through Dec. 14. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It's closed Sundays and college holidays.