Barbie®: A Cultural Icon Exhibition

ABOUT

This August, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) is thrilled to present: Barbie®: A Cultural Icon. This museum-quality exhibition is a collaboration with Illusion Projects and Mattel, Inc., a leading global toy and family entertainment company and owner of one of the most iconic brand portfolios in the world. 

The major exhibition first debuted in 2021, welcoming thousands of visitors in both Phoenix and Las Vegas. Barbie®: A Cultural Icon marks its exclusive Minnesota engagement at the DECC celebrating Barbie’s 65th anniversary year. 

On view from August 6 – September 22, 2024, the exhibition charts the 65-year history of Barbie and the doll’s global impact on fashion and popular culture through an expansive display, including: 

  • More than 300 vintage artifacts 
  • Life-size Barbie Ultravette™, a mirror-pink Corvette available for guest interaction and photo opportunities 
  • Life-size Barbie boxes, available for guest interaction and photo opportunities 
  • Life-size fashion designs 
  • Advertisements and other ephemera 

 

Inspired by the brand’s influence on culture, visitors to the exhibition will trace Barbie’s evolution from a child’s toy to a global icon across six distinct sections. The opening section relays the Barbie origin story and presents all 22 original ensemble outfits, while subsequent areas consider the influence of the Space Age; the creation of Christie, the first Black doll; the arrival of Ken; and the creation of the Barbie Dreamhouse™.

 

Visitors will also see Barbie in the iconic fashions:

  • The 1970s, including Groovy Style, beachwear, and disco-themed designs,
  • The 1980s and 1990s present a selection of diverse Barbie dolls representing a range of ethnicities, body types, and careers, including a feature on the first Black Barbie.
  • The 2000s, spotlighting the continued diversification of characters within the Barbie universe and connecting them to contemporary fashion trends, perspectives, and identities.

 

The exhibition, drawn from the private collection of David Porcello and Mattel, also features more than 50 historical objects and five unique photo opportunities, including a life-size Barbie Mirror-Pink Corvette with which visitors can interact. The exhibit will also showcase the Barbie Signature 65th Blue Sapphire Anniversary Fashion Dolls, paying homage to the iconic history and legacy of Barbie.

 

The exhibition at the DECC will be augmented with related special events and a selection of official merchandise on sale. EXHIBITION CREDITS Barbie®: A Cultural Icon was created by Illusion Projects and curated by costume historian Karan Feder, in collaboration with Mattel.

HOURS

Open daily from 10AM-4PM, August 6th thru September 2nd.
Then, 10AM-4PM Friday thru Sunday from September 6th thru September 22nd.

 

TICKETS

Adults, Ages 16+: $22.00
Kids, Ages 5-15: $17.00
VIP + Merch: $62.00 (Includes VIP Front of Line Access, Barbie Tote Bag & Barbie Sunglasses.)

All prices include $2 facility fee.

TICKETS

 

 

ABOUT ILLUSION PROJECTS INC.

Illusion Projects is a creative design and production company. Working with industry leaders such as Meow Wolf, Spiegelworld, Caesars Entertainment, and Cirque du Soleil; they specialize in the production, design and fabrication of exciting experiences and theatrical entertainment. As a creative company, they believe in pulling together intrigue, spectacle, education, and fascination; to deliver lasting memories and amazing adventures.

 

ABOUT MATTEL

Mattel is a leading global toy and family entertainment company and owner of one of the most iconic brand portfolios in the world. We engage consumers and fans through our franchise brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends™, UNO®, Masters of the Universe®, Matchbox®, Monster High®, MEGA® and Polly Pocket®, as well as other popular properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include toys, content, consumer products, digital and live experiences. Our products are sold in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and ecommerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering generations to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. Visit us at mattel.com.

BARBIE™ and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by, and used under license from, Mattel. ©2024 Mattel.