‘Puppet Museum’ granted limited reopening

See what this unique East Portland studio has on exhibition that your family will likely enjoy seeing, right now …

Putting the finishing touches on their new “Around the World with Puppets” exhibition, at the Portland Puppet Museum in Sellwood, is Steven Overton – here, working on a tableau featuring puppets from Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and China. The large puppets in the background are fashioned in the likeness of 15th Century Indonesian temple carvings.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After months of being closed entirely, then being granted sporadic reopening only to be closed again due to changing COVID-19 coronavirus government restrictions, the Portland Puppet Museum has now received word that they can host very small groups of guests in their unique facility.

“Because it’s considered a ‘retail store’, we have been able to have people visit our upstairs Gift Shop, because it’s totally separate from the museum,” said its co-founder Steven Overton.

So now, they’ve opened their new exhibition, “Around the World with Puppets”, featuring characters from 22 countries. “They’re all staged as if you’re watching a puppet show in their respective countries of origin,” Overton told East Portland News.

In front of a shadow screen patterned after an image called the Temple of the Tree of Life, Portland Puppet Museum partner Steven Overton hold a “Indonesian Prince” large rod puppet while arranges these puppets that are patterned after 15th century temple wall carvings.

On display are more than 250 puppets; some of them are at least 400 years old.
“In a way, seeing these puppets, it helps us understand that ‘we are not alone’ in this country,” Overton pointed out. “All around the world, performers have been giving puppet shows for centuries, as well as performing with art and music for family and kids.”

But, they are limited to six guests at a time; so it might be wise to make a reservation! For reservations, hours of operation, and other information, call (503) 233-7723, or CLICK HERE to visit their website.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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