Craig Marin [NM] & Olga Felgemacher [NM] : Marionette Admiral bird from Pinwheel [Nickelodeon, 1980-1996], ca.1979.

SAL record control number: 112200 ;

Record level: Item ;

Record type: Movable work ;


Work title: Marionette Admiral bird from Pinwheel [Nickelodeon, 1980-1996]  [from curator] ;

Alternate work titles:
2021 : Marionette Admiral bird from Pinwheel [Nickelodeon, 1980-1996]  [from curator] ;

Work date: ca.1979  [based on date of show] ;

Work creator: Craig Marin [NM] & Olga Felgemacher [NM] ;

Work medium: 
Work dimensions:

Inscribed / signed front: 


SAL category: Sculpture ;
SAL sub-category: Puppet ;

Archives of American Art subjects:
Art―Private collections―New York (State)
Art―Private collections―New York (State)―Salmagundi
Sculpture — Puppet

Description of work:


The show takes place in and around a large Victorian-style boarding house called Pinwheel House, which is powered by a pinwheel on one of the peaks. Live actors interact with puppets, discussing various concepts familiar to children’s programming like sharing, being considerate, the environment, and colors. All of the characters live and work in the various areas in and around the house. The Ohio episodes relied heavily on songs mostly performed by Jake.

Pinwheel underwent several changes when it moved to national television in 1979. Taping of Pinwheel moved to Matrix Studios in New York City, where the set was rebuilt. Arline Miyazaki, Betty Rozek, and Dale Engel joined the cast as Kim, Sal, and Smitty. Craig Marin and Olga Felgemacher created new puppet characters. Nickelodeon acquired a package of children’s shorts from Coe Film Associates, which were shown as inserts between the show’s usual puppet/human segments. These short films were also used as inserts for other early Nickelodeon shows, including Hocus Focus and By the Way.

The Admiral Bird is a bright red bird marionette who is known for being elusive and hard to catch. He often drops from the sky with a strange, echoing call. It is Smitty’s dream to capture a picture of the Admiral Bird for his newspaper, but he never succeeds. The Admiral Bird enjoys teasing Smitty.

ca.1979 Craig Marin [NM] & Olga Felgemacher [NM], New York, NY ;

Exhibition history:
2021-2022 SCNY Bil Baird and Olga Felgemacher : a narrative legacy November 25 – January 30.
1980-1996 Nickelodeon network Pinwheel.

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Record birth date:
October 29, 2021

Last updated: November 26, 2021 at 12:05 pm