Devil's Own

From the top of her perfectly coiffed head to the tips of her teeny-tiny toes, Barbie has become an iconic symbol of idealized—albeit unrealistic—feminine beauty. She has endured equal measures of adulation and criticism, from having her portrait painted by Andy Warhol to being banned in Saudi Arabia to inspiring countless doctoral dissertations on body image and femininity.

Modern woman: The artist’s vision of the faces and guises of Barbie go far beyond the beach. Dana Smith

To create 32 Big Pictures: A bound series of hand cut collages about Barbie, artist Dana F. Smith assembled multilayered collages on top of pages in an over-sized Barbie coloring book. According to the artist, “It was created as a painstaking labor of love and reveals untold ways that Barbie is interlaced with modern American culture.”

Duke Libraries acquired a digitally printed facsimile of 32 Big Pictures this past summer. It joins a growing collection of artists’ books by women in the libraries’ Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.


Share your comments

Have an account?

Sign in to comment

No Account?

Email the editor