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The Bamboozler (Child's Clothes Tree)

Decorative Arts and Design

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Like the Hang-It-All, The Bamboozler uses atom-derived, space-age shapes to “bamboozle” children into thinking that hanging up their clothing is fun. The designer, Richard Neagle, marketed The Bamboozler through magazine and newspaper ads that claimed: “Small fry might suppose it’s a convertible spaceship what with the revolving hat rack at the top. . . . [It] has been carefully designed so that your range rovers will find it quite a problem to knock it over.”
MEDIUM Wood, metal
DATES ca. 1953
DIMENSIONS 44 1/8 x 18 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. (112.1 x 46.4 x 51.4 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Alfred T. and Caroline S. Zoebisch Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Whimsical clothes tree for children, called "The Bamboozler," made of painted wood and metal parts. Main pole comprised of four painted wood cylinders joined end-to-end in alternating red/white colors, standing on conforming circular black metal platform from which extend four black metal tubular legs at right angles; the legs extend straight out, then angle toward the floor, terminating in yellow wood ball feet. Surmounting the main pole is a platform or shelf made of three concentric black wire rings. The four wooden cylinders that comprise the main pole are fitted with various types of "appendages" or pegs, from top to bottom: (1) yellow wooden rod inserted perpendicularly through cylinder with a blue crescent-shaped form attached at one end and, at the other end, a black metal rod inserted perpendicularly with yellow wooden ball at either end, and a hanging black metal rod with a semicircular wooden form attached to its end; (2) a black metal rod with yellow wooden ball at either end inserted through cylinder to form two pegs ; (3) blue wooden rod extends from cylinder to form one peg; (4) two metal rods project perpendicularly from cylinder in a V-shape and then turn straight up, terminating in blue wooden balls. CONDITION: Good; a number of wooden balls are loose, vertical crack in surface of main pole
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
CAPTION Richard Neagle (American, born 1922). The Bamboozler (Child's Clothes Tree), ca. 1953. Wood, metal, 44 1/8 x 18 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. (112.1 x 46.4 x 51.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred T. and Caroline S. Zoebisch Fund, 1993.6. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 1993.6_SL3.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1993.6_SL3.jpg.
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