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Bushong Marionettes collection

Call Number: RH MS 254


The collection contains scrapbooks and a bound manuscript containing correspondence, marionette plays, photographs, theatre programs, and instructions for making marionettes.


  • Creation: approximately 1935-1978


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Margaret Bushong (1909-1991)

Margaret Bushong was born December 24, 1909 in Ottawa, Kansas. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelors in music education in 1932. From 1934-1941, Margaret and her sisters, Rachel and Ione Bushong, staged marionette or puppet shows, performing scripts and music they wrote. They gave performances at schools, libraries, museums, and clubs throughout Kansas, as well as elsewhere in Missouri, Ohio, and New York.

When the sisters stopped touring, they opened shops in Lawrence and Kansas City to teach others how to make and perform with marionettes. Margaret Bushong continued performing at the nursery school she kept in her Lawrence home, as well as teaching and performing at summer camps and art workshops. Bushong also gave private violin lessons and taught stringed instruments for the Lawrence and Eudora school districts in Douglas County, and she served as the hand letterer for students' names on KU diplomas from 1942-1960.

Margaret Bushong was a member of the Christian Science Church and the KU Gold Medal alumni club. She died in March 1991, and several of her marionettes were donated to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and to the Elizabeth M. Watkins Community Museum. A scholarship for first year students, transfer students, and undergraduate and graduate students majoring in theatre at KU was esablished in Bushong's name in 1993.

[Information retrieved from Department of Theatre & Dance, "Margaret Busong and Suzanne Calvin Scholarship,"]


.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 254

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Margaret Bushong, March 1978.

Guide to the Margaret Bushong Collection
Material related to the Bushong Marionettes
Finding aid prepared by lgg, 1978. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Bushong Marionettes collection, RH MS 254, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States