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October 2008

Paul Klee (1879-1940): Five Hand Puppets, 1916-1925

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162(10):911. doi:10.1001/archpedi.162.10.911

In 1913, 6-year-old Felix Klee lived in Munich, Germany, as the only child of Paul and Lily Klee. Lily earned enough money teaching piano lessons to cover their expenses, while Paul was a stay-at-home dad trying to build a career as an artist. Whenever Paul needed to leave home to shop or run errands, Felix came with him. About twice a year, father and son visited a flea market in town where Paul could buy old picture frames for his paintings. While his father shopped, Felix got to watch the Kasperl and Gretl puppet shows—the German version of Punch and Judy. Felix loved the playful farces and told his parents how much he wanted to work the puppets himself.