Hidden away within Glasgow’s impressive Victorian Mitchell Library lays a hidden collection of puppets and masks from across the history of the puppet arts from the earliest days to modern times.
The dramatically named The World Through Wooden Eyes is a collection of puppets, masks, toys, prints, and books which have been amassed over the last fifty years by puppet-master, director, and designer John M. Blundall. Blundall’s collection focuses on the long tradition of puppetry on a global scale, featuring examples from ancient Japan, India, the New World and Continental Europe including the famous “Punch and Judy” marionette traditions. The museum places a specific emphasis on the theatrical nature of the creations, essentially espousing that the artistry of the puppets cannot be understood without a performative context. To this end, the “Ideas Store” as the collection is also known, not only provides workshops on the construction of puppets, but also stages historical performances. The World Through Wooden Eyes is an impressive collection for fans of puppetry and history, but it may be terrifying to visitors with pediophobia (fear of dolls).
Know Before You Go
The collection is being sold in 2018, and is no longer open to the public in the Mitchell Library.