The Marionette Museum in Lisbon wasn’t mentioned in any of the guide books or web sites consulted before the trip. But my friend Rachel, who had recently returned from Portugal, raved about it. That and I have a penchant for traveling with Le Mutt who is the creation of puppeteer Francesca Hoerlein. How could I resist?
The Lisbon Marionette Museum houses more than marionettes. Its collection contains hand puppets, shadow puppets, masks, props and, of course marionettes from all over the world.
Puppets have been around for thousands of years. There was a puppet theater in Greece in the 5th Century BCE. And puppets might even be older than that.
We all remember puppet shows from our childhood. But puppets are more than dolls used to entertain children. Puppets tell stories, sometimes subversive stories, that live actors would not be allowed to perform.
And puppets are are made from every material imaginable. The Museum houses creations made of cloth, wood, class, metal and clay. I am sure there are 3D printed puppets out there.
Be sure to visit the Marionette Museum if you are in Lisbon. It’s not a big museum-you can see the entire collection in a couple of hours-and you will be glad you did. Here are some more pictures.