If you have not seen the Gallery Waldinger exhibit you may be missing out on something big. The Exhibition is called “Pioneers of European Puppetry” opened up last week Nov 16th at the Gallery. It re-introduces the audience to the time honored traditional classical Puppetry theatre performances from past to latter half of the 20th century. The focus is on the cultural significance of the early days and brings together European Puppeteers. The show partners with Slovenia, Italy and Spain as part of the project. During the stay in Osijek there will be a series of Workshops, lectures and Performances. On Wednesday November 30 the show finishes up with two shows happening as a grand finally performance.
History of Osijek in Puppetry
The collection has put together amazing collaboration and features some of the most recognized talent dating back to 1916. It encompasses a time line through the great depression and the peak periods of history from Vauderville to Broadway. Featuring some of the most prominent people; Milan Klemencic from Slovenia (1875-1957), Vittorio Podrecca Italy (1883-1959), Hermenegildo Lanz Spain (1893-1949). The Gallery Waldinger will be showcases some of famous Marionette recognized during the time period from 1913- mid 20th century. Puppetry was able to survive during the first depression and the First World War. This is due to much change and shift in the world economies and social values. However during such difficult times gave rise to new creative ideas and ground breaking stage productions.
The room set-up at the Waldinger Gallery is well displayed as you can examine the front and back of the suspended puppets hanging by string wires. Using a mixture of Multimedia and traditional publications allowing the viewer to examine its history. The display cases mimics’ freight boxes, which most of Marionette would have been used to travel overseas. There is so much attention to detail when viewing the miniature stage sets with every little detail from Furniture to the costumes of the era. The exhibit brings together everything from props and memorabilia from various performances. The show demonstrate simplicity to children of all ages while entertaining adults with the finer complexity of Classical Puppetry.
What is really remarkable is how the Puppets held up through so much travelling around the world being retained in freight boxes across the world. It is important to note that some of the original pieces have been restored. Some of the many Marionette have vanished as the material used had suffered too much wear and tear. However some replicas were made to save the Marionette from being lost. Each Puppet was carefully brought back to its restored condition as they took micro samples of paint and textiles to keep as close as possible to original for the replicas. It is best to see the actual in person at the gallery.
Through-out the history of Osijek there has been many Puppet theaters and at one point of time during the 1930’s there was up to four different theater groups. Today with much success the art is well alive in Osijek at the "Art Academy of Osijek" and the "Osijek Children’s theater". The cultural heritage of Osijek continues to be the gem in Croatia long History. The event closes this coming Wednesday with two great shows “Catch Me!” and “Doctor Faustus.” To find out more visit Waldinger Gallery this weekend.
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