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Martha Colburn is a filmmaker, animator, and multimedia artist who employs a variety of techniques, including puppetry, collage, and paint-on-glass. Many of her works address American history and its relationship to contemporary foreign and domestic policy. Colburn has also directed numerous music videos and has taught workshops on her animation techniques throughout the world.

For the Museum, Colburn has made a film based on her photographs of the Museum’s unparalleled collection of dolls, toys, and other licensed merchandise. The film, DOLLS VS. DICTATORS, is projected continuously in the Video Screening Amphitheater at the Museum. Eight tableaus each corresponding to a scene in the film, are also exhibited.

This installation made possible by a grant from the Greenwall Foundation. Postproduction services provided by Deluxe New York.

Cast of DOLLS VS. DICTATORS (in order of appearance):

Charlie Chaplin

General Than Shwe (Myanmar)

Imperial Gunner (Star Wars)

Isayas Afewerki (Eritrea)

Lieutenant Uhura (Star Trek)

Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia)

Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)

Yellow Mighty Morphin Power Ranger (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)

Islam Karimov (Uzbekistan)

Central Intelligence Agency

Frank Hardy (The Hardy Boys)

Sergeant Havoc (RAMBO)

J.J. (Good Times)

Suzanne Somers (Three’s Company)

Princess Summerfall Winterspring (The Howdy Doody Show)

Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe)

Pee Wee Herman (Pee-Wee’s Playhouse)

Brooke Shields

Corporal Klinger (M*A*S*H)

Colonel Gaddafi’s Female Body Guards

Colonel Gaddafi (Libya)

Ponch (CHiPs)

Ricky Jr. (I Love Lucy)

Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov (Turkmenistan)

Turkenistan Traditional Doll

C-3PO (Star Wars)

R5-D4 (Star Wars)

Captain Kangaroo (Captain Kangaroo)

Kim Jong II (North Korea)

Sabrina Duncan and Kris Munroe (Charlie’s Angels)

T.J. McCabe (S.W.A.T.)

Linda Williams (The Danny Thomas Show)