Special Exhibits

                                               UFDC Museum Special Exhibits

                                                                   March 24 until September 30th

              BAPS Dolls and Puppets’ is the current special exhibit at the UFDC Museum in Kansas City.

Hilde Bartel made dolls with her mom in Germany before WWII. She also made puppets for the Berlin Theatre before and maybe during the war. Edith von Arps, an educated wealthy world traveler, and Hilde became close friends before the war. When the Russians advanced on Germany from the East, Edith lost her family estate and fortune. Edith had traveled across America before the war and trusted the Americans who were advancing from the south, so she and Hilde fled to the south of Germany with very little to their name.

The two women started making the BAPS dolls and eventually the puppets. Between Hilde’s talent and Edith’s wits, they were not only able to survive; they were able to grow their company and the economy of the tiny town in which they were located. The BAPS Company (BA from first two letters of Bartel, and PS from last two letters of Arps) was registered in 1946 and closed in 1964. During that time, they made an unknown amount of the tiny dolls and puppets representing Circus and Stage Performers, Ethnic regions, and characters based on Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, and Storybooks. They also made ‘one of a kinds’ upon request.

Nancy Moore, author of the book BAPS The History and Study of the German BAPS Dolls and Puppets, curated the display using her collection of over 250 BAPS dolls and puppets along with three of the BAPS theatres and additional stages. Also included is a brief history of the company, a map of important related locations, and a surprise tie-in to the book Empty Mansions about the reclusive multi-millionaire Huguette Clark.

For more information on special exhibits and activities, please contact:  Director of ReAL Services, Barbara Stone at Barbara@ufdc.org

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