Mulvane monkeys around

Danielle Greenup / Washburn Review

All the way from Red Heel Stock Monkey Rescue Shelter in Asheville, NC, The Sock Monkey exhibit has made its way back to The Mulvane Art Museum.

The museum hosts about a dozen different guest exhibits each year, and from Sept. 18 until Jan. 27 there will be a very unique exhibit for everyone to explore.

“Some of the same Sock Monkeys that were on display two years ago have returned but the majority of them are different ones,”  said Cindi Morrison, museum director. “When the exhibit was here before we discovered that a lot of our visitors have or had sock monkeys growing up and wanted to see the ones we were exhibiting,”

The sock monkeys emerged in 1932 and their red heeled socks were trademarked. Starting in 1955 they were used in many promotional campaigns. In 1958 Pack-O-Fun magazine published “How To Make Sock Toys.” The story taught readers how to make sock toys with red heels and was printed in new editions until the mid-1980s.

Today, some would say sock monkeys remain very popular, although you will have a hard time finding any made earlier than the late 1950s. The creators are also expanding their horizons and instead of just using red heeled socks, they have created a new trend of using colorful striped or polka dot socks along with mismatched ones.

“Each monkey is unique in what they are and each one has their own personality,” said Beverly Johnston, Mulvane Gift Shop employee.

Aside from the exhibit, the Mulvane Art Museum’s gift shop also displays some sock monkey objects. At the gift shop, visitors can find different books on how to make sock monkeys and even sock monkeys themselves.

A free activity that will accompany this exhibit is the “We Mean Business! Sock Monkey Family Day,” where you can create your own special art project, Nov. 17 from 1 until 4 p.m. in the Art Lab.

The Mulvane Art Museum is open Tuesday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Wednesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1 – 4 p.m. It will be closed Nov. 19-26 and Dec. 17-Jan. 1. The museum is located on campus, at 1700 SW Jewell Ave.

For more information on the Red Heel Sock Monkey Rescue Shelter please visit their web site www.sockmonkeydreams.com.