MINT Museum of Toys’ latest exhibition, Childhood Favourites, explores toys and childhood memorabilia that were inspired by classic children’s books and tales from the 19th and 20th century. It aims to recapture early and timeless fictions that inspired not only children and adults, but also popular culture and toy makers. Adapted, rewritten and reimagined, the exhibition celebrates these popular children stories through a selection of dolls, figurines and collectible items from across the decades, spanning the 1900s to 2000s.
The exhibition, in essence, celebrates the selected stories that have influenced our imaginations and selection of toys. Several toys from the 21st century are also on display to highlight the timeless quality and relevance of these stories. For adults, they can relive some of these classic favourites and rediscover the colourful and curios tales of their own childhood, of which can also be viewed in retrospect now.
The toys and items on display all created in likeness to the characters they take after and were produced only after the release of the books, if not the adapted version of the original tale such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and The Story of Ferdinand, both of which were retold by Walt Disney.
Highlight of the exhibition includes the unique artefact, the Alice Doll (UK, 1930’s). Created several decades after the release of the book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this particular doll was given to Alice Liddell, the young girl who inspired Lewis Carroll to conjure up the story in 1862. The museum acquired this piece from the collection of Alice Liddell and her family in 2012.
The Winnie the Pooh and friends set by Agnes Brush (USA, 1956) will also be on display. Made up of nine pieces, this very set of cloth and felt soft toys once made an appearance in a 1956 Life Magazine article (February 27, 1956 issue). This set is rare for it’s not often found complete with all 9 pieces and despite its age, it is in mint condition.
Childhood Favourites opens on 1 January 2017 through to 31 March 2017. The exhibition includes a reading and activity corner for all ages.