Graphic images- chiseled into masonite, printed and painted on cloth, and paper- have been an integral part of Bread & Puppet Theater’s shows since the very beginning in the early sixties. Peter Schumann, Bread & Puppet’s founder, director and artist, created and continues to create, the contents- both pictures and texts- of nearly all our publications and posters.
After moving to a farm in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, in 1974, we sold posters, banners and chap books, in our Museum Barn and at Bread & Puppet events. By the late eighties, Bread & Puppet Press was established, with an annual calendar and mail-order catalog, and in 2000, its own print shop building. (Until then, we had printed and painted, helter-skelter, in the Museum, chicken coops, and rehearsal and meeting spaces.) There, under Lila Winstead’s able management, she and local volunteers make all the hand-printed and -painted items for sale, including letterpress broadsides and handmade books. The Print Shop also produces the banners, flags, curtains and costumes, as needed, for specific shows and events. At the Bread & Puppet Press, Elka Schumann and Lila select material from PSchu’s huge oevre and design the books, posters and cards, and work with local offset printers to produce the sales items, usually in editions of 1,000 or fewer.
Our emphasis is on utilitarian uses of art, for such vital activities as celebration, decoration, information, argumentation, rumination- and puppetry!