Vintage Flamingo Figurines, My Goofy Collections Part 4, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

Pink plastic flamingos have been popping up on people’s yards for decades (say that fast 3 times). I’ve only got the china kind. At some point in my Art-Deco-to-Midcentury-loving past I must have acquired a flamingo figurine and tended it lovingly enough to inspire friends to give me flamingos. We hoarder-types are always appreciative, so thank you friends, but now I need to downsize. My fabulous flamingos must fly to new homes.

Flamingo figurines - collection

Conflagration of flamingos…

A few flew away earlier – there were souvenir flamingos on my desk at work through a few moves, finally given to an especially nice office-cleaning lady who admired them. My sister in law gave me a feathered one who brightened up flower pots but eventually succumbed to the damp, and an early-inspiration plastic lawn ornament.

As for flamingo lawn ornaments, they were born in Massachusetts in 1957 and achieved their ironic celebrity with the opening credits of John Waters’ film Pink Flamingos (1972).

“The real plastic flamingo is in a sense extinct, Waters says: ‘You can’t have anything that innocent anymore.’”  — Smithsonian

I’m glad I switched from plastic to china. With a little googling, I’m alarmed to see that pink flamingos and garden gnomes are the most popular lawn ornaments. You can get your own “garden gnome eating pink flamingos” and of course,  zombie flamingos and garden gnomes… and so on. I see I’d better be careful about where I let my china flock go. But wherever it is, those pink question-mark necks will always be graceful.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering: I don’t have any garden gnomes — do you?


More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

More on pink-flamingo lawn ornaments from Smithsonian

14 thoughts on “Vintage Flamingo Figurines, My Goofy Collections Part 4, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

  1. No pink flamingo ornaments. Do have TWO garden gnomes! Both of them are painted orange with Clemson insignia. I bought multiples as gifts for my family members who are Clemson graduates. One person left the reunion without his gift, so I kept his with thoughts “I will send it to him”… hmmm, so that was about 3 years ago, and two Clemson gnomes remain in my front flower garden. Not so many people in Ohio appreciate my Clemson ‘heritage’!

    • Too funny! I can think of at least one film and one book that feature garden gnomes posing for photos on their travels. If you have an extra, maybe s/he could accompany you sometimes and you can send photos to your friend. (and should I keep a flamingo travel-companion?)

  2. Your pink flamingos are lovely. Much better than plastic. You can still find the plastic ones in some gardens in Melbourne. Not mine. But there is a small pottery gnome discreetly hiding under a Bay shrub. There is a place in Western Australia called Gnomesville, where gnomes can find sanctuary. There are are thousands of them sitting in a bush setting sent from all over the globe. Kat

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