The Great Exhibition: Bébés at the BarryJanuary 27, 2023 - July 30, 2023
During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, French dollmakers popularized a new type of bisque doll that would be the first to represent young children: the bébé. Unlike previous dolls (which resembled adults or teenagers), bébés offered children idealized representations of themselves; they transformed the doll industry by engaging the larger world. Appearing at international events like the World’s Fair and advertised everywhere from story books to scientific articles, the bébé’s influence has been expansive and varied, securing a prominent place in doll history. The Great Exhibition: Bébés at the Barry is an intimate exhibition exploring the bébé as an international phenomenon. Whether it appeared in shops, magazines, or in our homes, the bébé shaped representations of childhood on a global scale.