Ah, the romantic couple of Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood and Maid Marian!
Back when I was a kid, the story of Robin Hood enthralled me. Steal from the rich, give to the poor; bows and arrows. Centuries old, the tale never loses its appeal even through re-tellings as different as the 1938 classic film starring Errol Flynn’s and Olivia de Havilland and Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
In 1929, a 19- or 20-year-old Carleton Richmond created a set of Robin Hood marionettes for his mother to show at a Boston Junior League presentation. Clearly an inventive lad, Carleton later became an architect, and uncle to an equally imaginative trio of sisters, who inherited the Merry Men. And Marian. They’re a remarkable group: fully articulated, with controls for feet, arms, torsos, heads—every part that might need moving. With their charmingly detailed costumes, their expressive faces in stage makeup, they cast a spell that implore me to photograph them!
They’ve survived over 90 years in a large suitcase complete with stage, script, protective decorative boxes for each character and are used to this day by Carleton’s nieces, who have, as expected, tinkered with the tale.
Here they are, ready for their 21st century closeups.
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