On March 9, 1959, the Barbie doll was born. As the first mass-produced American toy doll with adult features, Barbie was a revolutionary pivot away from traditional girls' toys. For the first time, a doll was more than a baby that needed caring for; Barbie was whatever her owner imagined her to be.

Compilation photo: Barbie, 1959 | Bubble Cut Barbie, 1962 | Twist 'N Turn Barbie, 1967 | Christie Barbie, 1969 | Malibu Barbie, 1971 | Superstar Barbie, 1977 | Collector Coach Doll Barbie, 2013 | (Mattel)

Ruth Handler, co-founder of the Mattel toy manufacturing company, came up with the idea for Barbie after noticing her daughter playing with fashion paper dolls. She realized girls craved a toy that could embody their fantasies of becoming ambitious young women. Though Handler gave Barbie a backstory (she was born in Wisconsin as Barbara Millicent Roberts), she refrained from giving her an exact age because she wanted the doll to appeal to as many girls as possible.

Ruth Handler | 1960 | (Mattel)

Over the decades, Barbie has evolved to reflect modern styles and comforts, attitudes and causes, dreams and ambitions. She has taken on more than 150 careers, including astronaut, presidential candidate, and police officer. She has firmly cemented herself as a cultural icon, inspiring both art and commentary. And of course, she's sparked her fair share of controversy, for alleged racism, sexism, and plenty of other -isms, too.

The Musee des Arts Decoratifs — a museum in Paris specializing in design, fashion, toy, and advertising collections — is honoring the toy with a massive exhibition called, simply, Barbie. The exhibition features 700 Barbie dolls, accessories, and clothing items, as well as works by contemporary artists, newspaper clippings, photos, and videos that contextualize the toy's many incarnations and influences.

Below, a peek into the exhibition, on view through September 2016.

The World of Barbie | (Mattel)

Compilation photo: 1960's Barbie and Ken | 1970's Barbie and Ken | (Mattel)

Co-founders of Mattel, Ruth and Elliot Handler | 1960 | (Mattel)

Barbie by Andy Warhol | 1985 | (Mattel)

Star Trek Barbie and Ken | 1996 | (Mattel)

Compilation photo: Flight Attendant Barbie, 1961 | Career Girl Barbie, 1963 | Astronaut Barbie, 1965 | Surgeon Barbie, 1973 | Aerobics Instructor Barbie, 1984 | Presidential Candidate Barbie, 1992 | (Mattel

Grease Barbie | 1996 | (Mattel)

Making of Mattel | (Mattel)

Mad Men Barbie, 2010 | Lagerfeld Barbie, 2014 | Dior Barbie, 1997 | (Mattel)

Moschino Barbie | 2015 | (Mattel)

Making of Mattel | (Mattel)

**To see more from this collection, visit Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris through September 2016**