The Lindman Marionette Troupe

It’s fun to imagine what children will think when they walk into Lake Bluff History Museum to see “Puppetry Magic”, an exhibit on the Lindman Marionettes. Some of our youngsters will be curious about the papier maché incarnations of Santa Claus, Peter Pan, Captain Hook and (for some reason) Teddy Roosevelt. Others just might run away in fright. 

Grownups, too.

Scaring people is certainly not the Museum’s intention with this exhibit! But we do want to share a collection of puppets that was donated to the Museum recently, for they were created by longtime Lake Bluff resident Margaret Lindman with her husband Richard Lindman and her sister Mary Griffith.

Puppetry is one of the oldest types of performance art in America and the Lindman Marionettes rode a wave of popularity in the 1950s and ‘60s. Because these marionettes were designed to portray characters both good and evil — from fairytales like The Snow Queen, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, and more – they can be a bit frightening..

Beginning in the 1950s, the Lindmans and Griffith created hundreds of puppets and their sets, from carving to painting to sewing clothing to adding the strings, often in Margaret and Richard’s garage on Garfield Avenue. Margaret was a lifelong educator who used the marionettes to tell stories and teach, performing in venues including the Murray Theater at Ravinia in Highland Park and Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry. She gained a broader audience in the early 1960s by hosting a weekly television show, Just Imagine, on WTTW, which was wildly popular to a generation of Chicagoland children.

The Museum looks forward to sharing the Lindman Marionettes exhibit with the community starting in January 2022.