|Title||Winnie the Pooh Marionettes|
|Object Name||Postcard, Photographic|
|Description||Photograph on postcard of Winnie the Pooh Marionettes.|
Neill, Harriet Babcock
|Copyright||Oshkosh Public Museum|
|Cataloged by||Cross, Scott|
Image of Winnie the Pooh Marionettes. The scene is set on a stage and shows Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, Eyore, and piglet. All were made by Harriet Babcock Neil.
Harriet Z. Babcock was born in Milton Junction, Wisconsin on March 19,1888, the daughter of Pearl and Louise Wescott Babcock. Her father was a musician that was drawn to Oshkosh to join the Arion Band. He worked as a carriage painter, sign painter, and decorative interior painter in Oshkosh. Harriet was no doubt influenced by her father and may have worked with him. Harriet was working in Oshkosh in 1914 and 1916 as a stenographer at the Foster-Lotham company. She is not listed in the 1919 directory and could not be located in the 1920 US census. In 1924 she was working as an artist for the New York City architectural firm of Ludlow & Peabody. She married James S. Neill in Manhattan on August 23, 1928. Their daughter Louise was born there on October 22, 1929. James was an actor who went by the stage name of Clive Oliver. By 1930 they were living in Oshkosh with Harriet's widowed mother. They then move to Hollywood, California where James was seeking an acting job. In January 1931 their home and all of their possessions were destroyed in a house fire. By 1935 they were living in New York City, where Harriet was working as an artist for Sue Hasting's Marionettes. She would work there until the late 1950s and carved many of the company's well known marionette heads. She also carved dolls and created dioramas. For a brief time in 1944 they were living in Oshkosh with her mother but returned to New York shortly afterward. In 1961 she returned to Oshkosh again to help care for her aging mother and sister. Harriett died in New York in November 1969.
Note: other photographs of her marionettes and dioramas can be found in her scrapbook located in the archives.