The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DAR Museum Showcases Antique Toy Collection in New Exhibition
A hundred years ago, most toys were very gender-based. Toys for boys, such as horse-drawn and other vehicles, and toy soldiers, are part of the "Return to Toyland" exhibit.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The DAR Museum celebrates childhood of the past with a playful exhibition of late 19th- and early 20th-century toys. "Return to Toyland," which runs from October 3, 2008 through February 28, 2009, features antique toys from the DAR Museum collection, remarkable precursors to the abundance of toy varieties we see today. On display are dolls, doll houses, vehicular toys, games and stuffed animals. The exhibition also gives a glimpse into the beginning of the commercialization of Christmas and how it played a role in the evolution and popularity of toys.

Today, dolls come in so many varieties that many encourage little girls to grow up to be whatever they want, whether it's a rock star or an astronaut. Dolls during the turn of the century, however, were mostly geared toward giving little girls good practice for the childcare skills most of them would need as mothers. The exhibition features various cloth, porcelain, papier-mache and paper dolls.

Boys also had toys assigned to them by social convention. Soldiers and weapons were favorites in the early part of the 20th century, and even before Thomas the Tank Engine, little boys loved toy trains and cars. On display are even toy carriages and horse-drawn carts, which were popular play items before other forms of transportation were invented.

For the most part, early toys were very gender-based, but little kids naturally liked many of the same things. A majority of the toys from the late 19th and early 20th centuries were miniatures of objects from the adult world. The exhibition features beautiful examples of doll houses as well as a miniature theater, fire station, barn and even an outhouse.

Early childhood games could also cross gender lines. Turn of the century optical toys like the zoetrope were precursors to movies and entertained boys and girls alike. A wide variety of board games, some based on current events and characters like Nellie Bly, started to become popular around this time.

Stuffed animals, that seem so ever-present today, were actually latecomers to the toy world. The Teddy Bear came on the scene in about 1903, soon after President Teddy Roosevelt famously spared a bear cub during one of his hunting trips. In addition to stuffed bears and monkeys, on display is a riding toy elephant circa 1904 affectionately named "Jumbo."

Now, it is customary to see TV reports of lines outside Toys 'R' Us and parents on their worst behavior at the start of Christmas season shopping. However, commercialization of Christmas began in the late 1800s, with store owners and toy manufacturers helping to convert a formerly modest celebration into a child-centered extravaganza of gift-giving. The exhibition takes a look at this phenomenon and displays antique ornaments and other Christmas paraphernalia. While toys have certainly changed and multiplied dramatically in the past 100 years, their roots are evident in the toys of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

While toys have certainly changed and multiplied dramatically in the past 100 years, their roots are evident in the toys of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors to “Return to Toyland,” old and young alike, can reminisce about the toys they once played with as well as marvel at the striking similarities and differences of these antique toys to the toys of today.

Today's News

October 5, 2008

Impressionist Masterwork by Edgar Degas to be Sold By Sotheby's in November in New York

Rich Legacy of African Textiles on View in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition

Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs Opens at Memorial Art Gallery

Sotheby's New York Sale of 19th Century European Art to be Held on October 23

Allan Ramsay Self-Portrait Leads Christie's Auction of Scottish Art in October 2008

Pieter Hugo: The Hyena & Other Men at Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam

One-of-a-Kind Salvador Dali Dedicatory Drawings Collection

Extraordinary Diverse Work of Ana Maria Pacheco to be Shown at The Herbert in Coventry

Sculptor Jesús Moroles to Create Reflecting Pool Installation for Joslyn Art Museum

DAR Museum Showcases Antique Toy Collection in New Exhibition

Exhibition Featuring Work of Leonardo da Vinci to Open at High Museum in October 2009

Avant-Garde China: Twenty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art on View at National Art Center

Raident Technology, Inc. Establishes Scholarships at Academy of Art University San Francisco

National Museum of the American Indian Presents Major Retrospective of Fritz Scholder's Art

Unique Temporary Printing Machine Highlights Ephemeral Nature of Digital Data

Christie's New York Announces European Decorative Arts Month

AT & T Donates $500,000 in Artwork to Community organizations in California

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful