Marionette Show, Bellevue Hospital, 1951
This photo, taken on one of the lawns of Bellevue Hospital on August 28th, 1951, appeared in the New York Daily Mirror. Like most hospitals at the time, Bellevue strictly enforced visiting hours, including for parents of hospitalized children. To make up for this lack of parental contact, the Children of Bellevue program formed a Children’s Recreation Department. Hundreds of volunteers donated time and effort. The city of New York also sponsored programs for hospitalized children. The puppet show depicted in this photo is by the New York City Parks Department Traveling Marionette Theater, whose home base remains in the Swedish Cottage in Central Park. In attendance at this performance (but cropped from this photo) were Dr. Salvatore Cutolo, the medical director of Bellevue Hospital and Miss Alessandrini, the first director of Children of Bellevue.