Molly's Minstrels

Thursday June 27 @ FRANK, 6-8pm

Guest speaker Bonnie Cohen will present Molly's Minstrels.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Molly Kaplan, Bonnie Cohen, and the Story of Molly’s Minstrels, the Art of a Lifetime

Molly’s Minstrels are the culmination of a lifetime of creativity. Molly Kaplan made Art out of the found objects in her everyday life, she started covering whiskey bottles and cigar boxes in hundreds and hundreds of tiny, fragile seashells. Finding beauty in the daily, rendering the ordinary extraordinary. As an outsider artist, creating in secret even in her own home, Molly had to create her Art out of repurposed objects that were readily available to her.

Bonnie Cohen, her granddaughter and spiritual custodian, helped Molly moved to Durham in her seventies after the passing of her husband. The generational connection and the newly found freedom helped Molly’s Art flourish as never previously. 

The Minstrels are tiny spirit dolls created from the fabric of Molly Kaplan’s life. In her later years her hands always working, Molly Kaplan, made literally hundreds of these little minstrels that made their way out into the Durham community, across North Carolina, to New York and beyond. Molly bought her first home in Duke Park at the age of eighty. There she and Bonnie collected, stored, gave away and sold the handcrafted dolls and other artistic creations.

She tore up the old dresses, the dishtowels, the shawls and the shmatas, the fabric of her world and rewound them around handwritten messages of love and faith into beautiful, new, one-of-a-kind creatures, from elephants to spirits. With buttons and yarn, beads and thread, aged discards were imbued with new life.

Molly’s works have been exhibited at the Duke University Hospitals and shown on ABC-TV.

Sadly, Molly left this world in February of 2004. Bonnie has continued to curate and display the work. She built an on-line home for the dolls called Molly’s Minstrels where artists, writers, thinkers and other spiritual creators can share their thoughts and meditations on Molly’s life’s work.

Read more here.

Bonnie Cohen