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Barbie celebrates 65th anniversary with exhibition in London

Barbie celebrates 65th anniversary with exhibition in London

(London) The Design Museum in London is dedicating an exhibition to Barbie from Friday, with more than 180 dolls, including the doll that spent six months aboard the International Space Station in 2022.

A year after the phenomenal success of Greta Gerwig’s film starring Margot Robbie, Barbie is coming to this west London museum for an exhibition charting the evolution of the world’s most famous doll since its creation 65 years ago.

It starts with “Barbie number 1”, the first model created in 1959 by the company Mattel, which is a partner of the exhibition.

Also included is the surfer “Sunset Malibu Barbie”, very popular in the 70s, and the “Totally Hair Barbie” from 1992, with her long hair, the best-selling in the world with more than 10 million copies.

Also on display are the first black, Hispanic and Asian Barbies, the first Barbie with Down syndrome, the first Barbie to use a wheelchair, and much more.

The organizers are particularly proud to be able to exhibit “the only Barbie ever to be in space.”

This one is designed to resemble Italy’s Samantha Cristoforetti, the first European to command the International Space Station. The Italian astronaut will join her in space for six months in 2022.

The exhibition includes videos by Samantha Cristoforetti in which she answers questions in weightlessness in space, floating next to the doll.

“We are delighted that Samantha’s doll is on display at the Design Museum for the first time since the ISS returned to the museum this summer,” said Danielle Thom, curator of the exhibition, in a statement.

For Tim Marlow, the museum’s director, “design has been at the heart of Barbie’s story since her creation.”

According to the institution, visitors can “see the influence of designers and architects – from Florence Knoll to Frank Gehry – on the world of Barbie.”

The exhibition also devotes a section to Ken, Barbie’s eternal male companion, and to his younger sister Skipper.