From dollhouse to design icon: Design Museum’s Barbie exhibition opens in 2024

The Design Museum will go very pink next year as it has announced that it will have an entire exhibition devoted to the pink lady – Barbie.

2023 Barbie The Movie Doll Gloria Pink Power Pantsuit (c) Mattel, Inc.

The exhibition, which in no way is jumping on the movie bandwagon as they were keen to note it’s been under preparation for three years, will be opening to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the Barbie brand. However, having a Barbie movie that grossed over $1.4 billion at the box office won’t hurt ticket sales for the museum exhibition.

The Design Museum says that it has been granted special access to Mattel’s Barbie archives in California, and dozens of rare and unique items will go on show alongside other key loans and acquisitions to tell the story of the plastic brand over the past six-and-a-half decades.

The Design Museum Curator Danielle Thom will curate the exhibition and will map the Barbie legacy that started in 1959 when Ruth Handler wanted to craft a different narrative for her daughter, Barbara. It will go on to explore the story of Barbie through a design lens, including fashion, architecture, furniture and vehicle design.

Tim Marlow, Director and CEO of the Design Museum, said: “Barbie is one of the most recognisable brands on the planet and as we’ve seen recently, her story evolves with each new generation. I am delighted that we can announce that we’re planning to mark Barbie’s 65th birthday with a major exhibition, and I want to thank Mattel for collaborating with us through their extensive archive to help us tell this story. We look forward next year to displaying a whole range of eye-catching objects, some familiar but many never seen before, to showcase the evolution of design across the decades of Barbie’s world.”

The exhibition will open at the Design Museum in July 2024 and will run until February 2025.

Tickets will go on sale next spring.

1993 Earring Magic Ken (also known as “gay ken”) (c) Mattel, Inc.

This article was published on ianVisits


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