Jingles and Giants: Bread and Puppet Books

Opening Reception

Date :: Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Time :: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Location :: San Francisco Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island Street, San Francisco

Admission is free.


Wednesday, October 7 thru 12, 2015 

The exhibit featured Bread & Puppet Press books of all shapes and sizes, from the diminutive many-volume Jingle Book series, to the one-of-a-kind handmade Giant Books, drawn in charcoal on large-format pages with sewn cardboard covers.

Peter Schumann, Bread & Puppet's Artistic Director and prolific book maker, has created many kinds of books over the past 50 years, from cheap art xeroxed zine-style multiples to singular fine hand-printed books. Content has ranged from stories for children to high-falutin' fiddle sermons, philosophical tomes on cheap art and puppet theater to a sprawling comic book series starring the old German clown character Kaspar (brother to Punch of Punch and Judy).

A selection of this huge body of book-making was available for viewing at the San Francisco Center for the Book during this six day pop-up exhibition.

About the Artist

For the first time in fourteen years, artists Peter Schumann and his Bread and Puppet Theater toured the West Coast, from Los Angeles to Seattle, with a series of performances, workshops , lectures, exhibits and parades. 

Founded by Peter Schuman in the early 1960's, Bread and Puppet was enmeshed in the radical counterculture and earliest demonstrations against the U.S. involvement in Southeast Aisa, becoming a familiar presence in the protest movement. Meanwhile, the puppets grew bigger and bigger -- some up to 18 feet high - leading processions that spanned blocks and mobileized hundreds of people. Bread and Puppet became a seminal part of the avant-garde movement that included companies such as the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Living Theater and Robert Wilson.

At a time when economic divide threatens to tear San Francisco into the haves and have-nots, Bread and Puppet brought its art and philosolhy to everyone -- from children to the elderly, artists to tech workers. Not only did members of the troupe lead a hands-on participatory workshop with local teachers and arts coordinators in the SF public schools, interact with theatre students at SF State, but they also created free community events in San Francisco's Dolores Park and the Tenderloin.

Exhibition Sponsors

Kahle Austin Foundation

Grants for the Arts | San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund

Related Events

Bay Area supporters of the troupe’s accessible, radical art making can partake in a feast of events this October: 

Pop-Up Exhibition:  JINGLES & GIANTS–Bread and Puppet Books at the San Francisco Center for the Book375 Rhode Island St, SFOpening reception with Peter and Elka Schumann, October 7, 2015, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Pop-Up exhibit runs October 7 thru 12, 2015. Admission is free.

FIRE Performance, followed by a Bread Reception at Sebastopol Grange6000 Sebastopol Ave, Hwy 12, Sebastopol.  Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 7:00 PM. Tickets $20 or donation. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. (This show may not be appropriate for young children.)

FIRE Performance, preceded by a Fiddle Talk by Peter Schumann, and followed by a Bread Reception at the Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco.  Friday, October 9, 2015, 7:00 PM.  (Pre-show reception begins at 6:00.) We will also celebrate the dedication of the  Bread & Puppet Archive with filmmaker Dee Dee Halleck.  Tickets $20 or donation. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.  (This show may not be appropriate for young children.)

We are All in the Same BoatParade at Dolores Park, San Francisco, Saturday, Oct 10, 2015, 2:00 PM. (Parade participants are welcome–wear white and meet at 1:00 PM, look for the big banners and boat!) Bread and Puppet will lead the We are All in the Same Boat parade with volunteers, musicians and community members, asking a provocative question for the Bay Area in 2015:  “What if we could all swim together?”

Bread and Puppet: Play in The Tenderloin, Luggage Store Annex/Tenderloin National Forest, 511 Ellis Street (between Hyde & Leavenworth) on Sunday, October 11, 2015, 1:00 PM thur 4:00 PM.  Bread and Puppet Cantastoria performances in the Tenderloin National Forest with bread and aioli; stew made “Fresh from the Oven” by Amara Tabor Smith; sewing with The Mending Library. In the Luggage Store Annex Gallery: Bread and Puppet’s “Cheap Art” Sale and art activities for children with ArtsEd4All. Free and open to all.

Photo Credit: ©Mark Dannenhauer