Barbies, meet Collection

Bring Your Barbie to Work Day

This week, museum staff had a Bring Your Barbie to Work Day.

We had Barbies from the 1960’s all the way up to the 2020’s show up with staff, and it was so much fun to hear the stories and memories attached to them.

The Barbies (and Ken), in true glamourous fashion, explored the Collection and found some outfits that are comparable to theirs. They spent some time in a 2000’s Dream House, followed by a Rock Concert with Gene Simmons, Jem, and Danny and Johnathan from New Kids on the Block (though Johnathan was a bit tied up to make it on stage). There was even a backstage space for a trio of Kellys! (Did you know? Kelly, Barbie’s younger sister, was discontinued in 2010 and replaced with Chelsea, who is a little bit older, in 2011)

All dolls and accessories pictured belong to MAG staff. Human sized clothing pictured is from our Collection. Check out the Barbie’s museum adventure below!

From the Collection

White & Pink Maid of Honour Dress

Gift of Mrs Mary Cuthbertson

This gown was worn at a Red Deer wedding in 1972. It features pink and white flowers with green leaves and stems on a sheer white background, with a pink lining (except on sleeves). Long sleeved with wide 3 false button (snap closure) cuffs, choker style collar with a row of false buttons down center front. Opens center back with a white plastic zipper. Slightly curved waistline (upward curving), skirt lightly gathered at side front and across the back. Long A-line shaped skirt (ankle length). Needle tatted lace trim around edge of collar and cuff (white).

Purple Dance Costume Dress

Gift of Ron Mitchell

A child’s sleeveless purple organdy dress or dance costume. Loose bodice with a full, ruffled skirt. Organdy ruffles around armholes. Embroidered net lace collar. No closures, pulls over head.

Yellow Bridesmaid Gown

Gift of Phyllis Johnson

This yellow flocked organza dress features short puffed sleeves and pearls around the neckline.

Orange Shirt with Denim Skirt

(Shirt) Gift of Mrs Beth Smith

This orange colored 100% cotton shirt is from approx. 1970-79. It features a spreading style collar, opening at center front with 5-button closures. Shirt gathered into front and back yoke, with cap style sleeves. It was made in India.

(Skirt) Gift of Mary Joan Cornett
2022.5.23 a-b

Also 100% cotton, this knee-length denim skirt features a center front button closure with placard running almost to bottom hem. Pleats and pockets at the hips. Waistband is partially elasticated.

Floral Print Dress

Gift of Jean Depalme
2003.75.8 a-b

A vibrant hot pink, blue, green, orange and yellow tropical floral printed dress (a) and belt (b). Ankle-length, with full skirts gathered into a rounded yoke at neckline. Short, full sleeves gathered into a banded cuff. Two slits in side seams at waist level, with a matching tie belt (b) inserted though them. This dress was likely made by the donor.

Yellow Striped Dress

Gift of Doris Ballantine
2005.58.2 a&b

This yellow dress comes with a belt, and features grey/black stripes. Interior label reads “Leo-Danal Inc”, Montreal.

Rainbow Wrap Dress

Gift of Marguerite Watson
2023.12.29 a-b

This pastel rainbow wrap-front dress was hand-made by Marguerite Watson for her daughter Lisa Jane when Lisa Jane worked at the Red Deer Public Library in her teens (1980s). It features three pink buttons, fastened with a diagonal wrap edge on bodice with hook and eye clasp at waist, yoke shoulder at back, and two slash pockets at side seams.

Grey Men’s Shirt

Gift of the Estate of Wellington B Dawe

Last but not least, we found a men’s shirt similar to that of Ken’s jacket. This 1950-59 era men’s grey cotton drill work shirt features pearl dome fasteners on the front cuffs.

The stage, backstage and stage accessories pictured are from the 1986 Barbie and the Rockers Hot Rockin’ playset. This set came with a two-sided cassette tape which has 4 songs on it: The Rockers Theme, Dressin’ Up, Born with a Mic and Stretchin’ It. It was produced by W. Krauss and B. Lui.

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