Friday, April 06, 2007

Sock Monkeys

Sock Monkeys, Private Collection

I collect toys. I prefer the ones that tell a story. I love the sock monkeys, they are made from socks, stuffed socks and arranged to represent an animal. It is interesting how simple stuffing socks are at the end registered and how their interpretation changed over time.

Sock monkey toys, a tribute to U.S. thrift and inventiveness, became a part of American childhood in 1953, when the Nelson Knitting Co. registered its design for turning a pair of socks into a stuffed toy. As interpreted by generations of home sewers, the sock monkey is now seen as a form of folk art, its basic pattern transformed through costuming, stitching, and stuffing. This private collection was started in 1985 and now includes over 1,500 monkeys. Approximately 100 of these whimsical and unique stuffed toys are included in the exhibition.

Found at the institute of contemporary art, University of Pennsylvania

Illustration found on the art of popular craft


domestika said...

This is a wonderful post! I've always had a secret affection for sock monkeys. I can see there's a lot to explore on your blog - I shall be visiting here often!

maggie said...

a woman after my own heart! i started a blog to show my embroidery, but it seems that the sock monkeys have taken over.

if you are ever near baltimore in the month of december, the american visionary art museum, hosts a free 'sock monkey saturday.'

portland maine