JMM Insights: Introducing Collections Collages

This week we launched the first graphic of our newest social media campaign, Collections Collages, in which ourCommunity Artist-in-Residence, Naomi Weintraub, creates digital collages using images of pieces from the JMM collection. Using the surrealist art form of collage, Naomi presents artifacts, photos, and stories in a few different themes. This inaugural collage has a fun, playful, and sweet theme: ice cream!  

Baltimore has long played an important role in America’s ice cream industry – after all, Mr. Jacob Fussell, the “father of wholesale ice cream manufacturing,” was a Baltimorean. L. Manuel Hendler was the chairman of the Ice Cream Industry’s National Centennial Committee, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of Mr. Fussell’s feat here in Baltimore in 1951.

This Collections Collage features pieces from the museum’s Hendler Collection which comprises early records of the growth and development of the company. 

Hendler’s Ice Cream was an iconic Baltimore treat for 60 years. The Hendler Creamery Company began as “Miller & Hendler” in 1905, founded by Louis Miller and L. Manuel Hendler. Hendler quickly moved to the forefront, purchasing Miller’s interest in the business in 1907 and, in 1912, incorporating it as “The Hendler Creamery Company.” Shortly thereafter Hendler purchased the former power house of the Baltimore City Passenger Railway Company, transforming the building into a state-of-the-art ice cream manufacturing plant.

In 1929 Hendler’s was purchased by the Borden Company. Manuel, and later his son Albert, became executives with the Borden Company, continuing to manufacture and distribute ice cream under the Hendler Creamery name until Albert’s retirement in 1965. At one point, Hendler’s had 400 stores and a fleet of 120 delivery trucks, selling its ice cream in numerous neighborhood groceries and drugstores. Known as “The Velvet Kind,” Hendler’s Ice Cream is fondly remembered for its 60 years of cool and tasty treats.

But why all the babies? 

These cherubic characters, known as Kewpie, were inspired by the Roman god of desire, Cupid. The Kewpie was created by illustrator Rose O’Neill and it first appeared in the Ladies Home Journal in 1909. The Hendler Creamery Company used the Kewpie as its mascot for many years

(Right) Advertising card with the Hendler “Kewpie” serving ice cream on a large tray. Signed by the Illustrator, Rose O’Neill.
JMM 1990.180.001.

This Collections Collage features the following images of items in our collection: 

  1. Advertising card with the Hendler “Kewpie” standing in full profile with a spoonful of ice cream. Signed by the Illustrator, Rose O’Neill. JMM 1990.180.002a-b.
  2. Advertising card with the Hendler “Kewpie” serving ice cream on a large tray. Signed by the Illustrator, Rose O’Neill. JMM 1990.180.001.
  3. Photograph of Billboard with Kewpies. ​​JMM 1998.047.004.114
  4. Photograph Hendlers Ice Cream truck, 1941; 1995.087.001
  5. Advertising card with the Hendler “Kewpie” posing in a baseball cap “Kewpie Baseball Team” and a bat held between its knees while eating a large plate of ice cream. Signed by the Illustrator, Rose O’Neill. JMM 1990.180.005a-b.
  6. Black and white photograph on canvas of the Hendler Creamery Building at 1100 East Baltimore Street. JMM 1997.016.001.
  7. Black and white photo of Hendler ice cream billboard. JMM 1998.047.004.166.


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