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My Little Corner of the Net

Monday, July 1, 2019

Barbie at Crystal Bridges

I recently spent the day at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville Arkansas. (To see my previous post about the museum click HERE)

Here is picture of the museum from the architects website.

The museum has a temporary display by American photographer David Levinthal, who has been photographing small toys and collectibles in lifelike portrayals for over five decades. The display is called Barbie and Baseball. The photographs were recently gifted to the museum and were on display for the first time. The show coincides with Barbie's 60th birthday this year! I took pictures of a few of the Barbie images.

From the museum website: Artist David Levinthal is known for his photographs of dolls and toys staged like real-life photographs. In these photographs, he explores topics of racism, sexism, and politics. In his series Barbie (1997-1998), Levinthal photographs Barbies as if they were models in order to spark discussion about how women have been objectified, especially in the post-war era. He adheres to traditional beauty standards of the time and dresses them in cosmopolitan and trendy clothing mirroring traditional model portraits of women found in magazines and fashion catalogs.

Since the 1980s, Barbie has increasingly become more diverse. In response to the criticism of unrealistic and limited beauty standards, Mattel Inc. began to expand Barbie’s look to better fit America’s demographics. In 1980, the first African American and Latina Barbies were created, and since then, 40 more international Barbies have been released. Barbie’s story is now a more truthful representation of the diversity of the world.

Happy birthday, Barbie Millicent Roberts – 60 looks good on you!

 The exhibit also includes an area where you can pose a few Barbies and take your own pictures.

Here was mine!


  1. Neat buildings and lovely setting! Some of the roofs look like water bugs! How neat to visit a museum in Arkansas - I bet most of us don't imagine "culture" as one of their top 10 attractions, and that's why ignorance robs us of great experiences. Thanks so much for enlightening us!

    1. Its a really great, world class facility built by the heirs of the Walmart family. (Walmart started out in Bentonville Arkansas) While it is not published, it is estimated that they spent $1.2 Billion to build the facility. Walmart also has a pretty neat museum in the old downtown area in the original Walmart. It has the history of the company and the people who started it.

  2. Hi, Troy - This museum looks beautiful, and the Barbie exhibit is an interesting one. I can't believe 60 years! Yikes! I feel old.

  3. what a fabulous building - worth a trip just to see that.