Material Girl: Inside the Closet of America’s Favorite Doll

Take a peek inside the closet of America’s favorite doll—Barbie!—and learn about her ever-changing wardrobe of stylish and trendy clothes in a special display, part of the Play Pals exhibit on the museum’s second floor. Since her debut in 1959, Barbie has worn tweed, dressed in denim, modeled plaids, sported sequins, and rocked spandex. Go decade by decade and explore how her wardrobe has changed to reflect popular culture through the years. View:Dia De Muertos Barbie

  • Examples from the 1960s, such as Twist ‘n Turn Barbie, Sophisticated Lady, and Little Bow Pink, that showcase Barbie’s early style and elegance
  • Versions from the 1970s, from Silver Blues to Roller Skating Barbie, that reflect the loosening of the dress code and the counterculture movement
  • Dolls with the bold styles and bright colors of the 1980s, such as Lilac and Lovely, and that speak to historical moments from the decade, such as Astronaut Barbie
  • Examples that show off the wide range of styles in the 1990s, from grunge to preppy, including Rappin’ Rockin’ Barbie and Serenade in Satin
  • Versions that reflect Barbie’s power to inspire young children, such as Barbie for President, and showcase the snappy styles of the early 2000s
  • Releases from the past decade that seek to expand Barbie’s racial diversity and encourage female empowerment from Dia de Muertos to Paleontologist and Game Designer Barbie

Material Girl: Inside the Closet of America’s Favorite Doll is produced by The Strong.