Meet the Missus
The traditional garden gnomes typically resemble medieval miners, sporting a leather apron, shovel, pickaxe, lantern and wheelbarrow, but these figures became symbols of upper-middle-class bourgeoisie life in the 1960s. The garden figures experienced an all-time low in popularity at that point. A recovery ensued in the 1990s, when alternative versions came into vogue -- like this scantily clad model. (The cruder figures haven't been included in this gallery.) Purist advocates of traditional gnomes, however, have criticized the introduction of both alternative designs and female gnomes. The International Association for the Protection of Garden Gnomes, founded in 1980 in Basel, Switzerland, to promote the gnomes' original purpose of adorning gardens is opposed to female gnomes, as they don't appear in gnome mythology.