Doll Museum - From Inspiration To Closure With Miri Leibovitz

You know, me and Edward, we're a couple. When we finished our studies in art we won a scholarship due to excellence, and with this scholarship we decided to go to Europe and see all the museums there.

We came to Paris, waiting in line to enter the Pompidou museum, and anyone who has been there knows that at the front of the museum there are always performances by clowns, buffoons, people who spit fire... As I was standing in line, right next to me stood a young man. He was very tall, dressed in a black leotard, with white face makeup and a clown's collar. He could do all the Commedia dell'arte's characters in pantomime.

I was fascinated. I have never seen such a performance before. I was so excited I put all the money I had in my bag in his hat. I was two weeks in Paris, and never had such an experience. Every day we went to see the clown's performance, and put money in his hat.

When we returned to Israel, naturally the first doll I made was a figure inspired by him as well as 30 more clowns, with them we went all over the world. We were in Japan, all of the United States, Europe. Two years ago we had a very large exhibition at the Center for Performing Arts in Tel Aviv, the Opera building.




A man came up to me, shaking my hand, he said "Miri, you can't imagine what your dolls do to me. Everyday, instead of eating lunch with my friends, I go to see them and feel like I haven't had enough. "I told him "Thank you. And who are you, sir?". He said "I'm a senior doctor at Assaf Harofeh, but when I was a student for medicine in Paris I financed my studies by performances at the Pompidou center". WOW! I was stunned. I couldn't believe that after 30 years someone is standing right in front of me and telling me this.

I looked at him, he really was very tall. I asked him, "Say, was it in '78?" He said "Exactly. These are the years I studied." - "Were you wearing a black leotard with white powdered face and a satin collar?" He said "Exactly. What, have you seen me?" I told him "It's unbelievable, this is great closure, I would never ever, believe it would happen to me. You see all my dolls, each and every one of them, were inspired by you". He started crying.

He told me that until now he performs the Comedia dell'arte at doctors' conferences. "Come to see it! Soon I'll have a performance in Kfar Maccabiah." But I never went to see it, I did not want to ruin my first impression, the shock this guy gave to me.

Can you believe it? Sometimes one person can give you inspiration for a whole museum.

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