Playmobil figures in the dollhouse behind a counter on which are two cakes and a vase of flowers. All have raised hands and smiling faces. In the background more figures look through a door
Münchner Stadtmuseum

(Not) A Doll’s House. Traditional Roles and Brand-New Images

The Puppet Theater / Fairground Attraction Collection was a Münchner Stadtmuseum permanent exhibition on puppeteering history for over 30 years during which time it penned its own chapter for the annals of history. “(Not) A Doll’s House. Traditional Roles and Brand-New Images” is the result of interdisciplinary cooperation with the Sammlung Goetz and the Münchner Stadtmuseum Photography Collection. With the impending refurbishment and temporary close-down of the museum, it has seized the opportunity to stimulate a dialog between the museum’s collections and contemporary artworks.

Münchner Stadtmuseum

Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Closed on Mondays

Every 2nd Wednesday of the month selected exhibitions at the Münchner Stadtmuseum are open until 8 pm.

St.-Jakobs-Platz 1
80331 München

With Paweł Althamer, Diane Arbus, Nobuyoshi Araki, Roger Ballen, Yael Bartana, Nathalie Djurberg, Ellen Gallagher, André Gelpke, Nan Goldin, William Kentridge, Herlinde Koelbl, Harry Kramer, Herbert List, Maria Luiko, Lothar Meggendorfer, Stefan Moses, Hans Op de Beeck, Ulrike Ottinger, Eduardo Paolozzi, Lotte Pritzel, Lotte Reiniger, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, August Sander, Markus Schinwald, Thomas Schütte, Wael Shawky, Andreas Slominski, Henry van de Velde, Kara Walker, Gillian Wearing and others.  

Ensconced in doll’s houses, fairground booths, collections of curiosities, wherever, puppets and dolls have always exerted a powerful and fascinating appeal. Not only are they a prime figurative representation of humans, but they also manage to embody our innermost wishes, fears, and desires. They hold up a mirror to our society and its role models both past and present. We can see a similar ambivalence in the Sammlung Goetz by visual artists that take intriguing slants in their treatment of puppets and dolls. By combining their art, the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s Puppet Theater/Fairground Attraction Collection and associated historical photographs, we venture into an interdisciplinary dialog between these rich sets of works. Over 500 works by some 50 artists and artisans are displayed throughout the exhibition and can be visited following varied itineraries. It includes videos by Kara Walker and Nathalie Djurberg, photographs by Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons and sculptures by Andreas Slominski and Thomas Schütte.

It offers us a critical interrogation of the Puppet Theater/Fairground Attraction exhibition that was on permanent display in the Münchner Stadtmuseum between 1984 and 2022. The curators have disrupted its structure to offer exciting new perspectives and freedom of movement, simultaneously opening a window onto the Münchner Stadtmuseum, past and future.

Curators: Mascha Erbelding, Rudolf Scheutle (Münchner Stadtmuseum) and Karsten Löckemann, Pietro Tondello (Sammlung Goetz)

Logo des Münchner Stadtmuseums

Web App to the exhibition

The Sammlung Goetz has developed a web app for the joint project ‘(NOT) A DOLL’S HOUSE’ at the Münchner Stadtmuseum – an exciting new digital platform on which the exhibition can be viewed. This prototype provides users and visitors with barrier-free digital access to the exhibition.
Its contents are tailored to those target groups interested in finding out more through the digital optimisation of the analogue exhibition. You can enter the app directly via the QR codes on site.

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Accompanying program

Münchner Stadtmuseum

Is it a dollhouse?! Join in!

The participatory tour of a different kind – for children, teenagers and families!

Münchner Stadtmuseum

(Not) A Doll's House. Curators in dialogue

Dialogue tour

St.-Jakobs-Platz 1

Architecture and Art in Dialogue

Architecture and art around St. Jakobs-Platz


Further exhibitions

view archive