Marwencol (art installation)

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Marwencol is a miniature town in Kingston, New York[1] created by the American artist Mark Hogancamp.

On April 8, 2000, Mark Hogancamp was attacked outside of a bar by five men who beat him nearly to death after he drunkenly told them he was a cross-dresser.[2] After nine days in a coma and 40 days in the hospital, Hogancamp was discharged with brain damage that left him little memory of his previous life. Unable to afford therapy, he created his own memory by building a 16-scale World War II-era Belgian town in his yard and populating it with dolls representing himself, his friends, and even his attackers.[3] He called the town "Marwencol", blending his own name with that of a local bartender Wendy and his neighbor Colleen.[4]

Hogancamp was initially discovered by photographer David Naugle, who documented and shared his story with Esopus magazine,[5] whereby his work was shown in White Columns art gallery.

In media[edit]

The film Marwencol (also known as Village of the Dolls in the UK)[6][7][8] is a 2010 American documentary film that explores Hogancamp's life and work. It is the debut feature of director-editor Jeff Malmberg. It was the inspiration for Welcome to Marwen, a 2018 drama directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Steve Carell as Hogancamp.[9][10]

Welcome to Marwencol is a 2015 art book by Hogancamp and Chris Shellen, published by Princeton Architectural Press, that documents Hogancamp's life and work. It was named one of the best books of 2015 by[11]


  1. ^ Green (2011)
  2. ^ Green, Penelope (2011-04-06). "In a Tiny Universe, Room to Heal". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Green, Penelope (2011-04-06). "In a Tiny Universe, Room to Heal: At Home With Mark Hogancamp". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  4. ^ "Marwencol: The Characters". Independent Lens. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  5. ^ Hogancamp, Mark (Fall 2005). "Marwencol on My Mind". Esopus. Archived from the original on 2006-05-11.
  6. ^ "Marwencol / Village of the Dolls - The Skinny". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Marwencol (Village of the Dolls) on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Village of the Dolls". Archived from the original on 2011-04-17.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (October 24, 2013). "Robert Zemeckis to Direct 'Marwencol' for Universal". The Hollywood Reporter.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 28, 2017). "Universal Dates Robert Zemeckis-Helmed Steve Carell Pic for November 2018". Variety.
  11. ^ "Amazon's Best Arts & Photography Books of 2015". Retrieved December 9, 2018.

External links[edit]