Exhibition | Swedish Wooden Toys

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Mattie Koppendrayer on June 24, 2014

On view this summer at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the exhibition comes to the Bard Graduate Center next fall:

Swedish Wooden Toys / Les jouets en bois suédois
Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 19 June 2014 — 11 January 2015

Bard Graduate Center, New York, September 2015

Patins à glace pour enfants, 1800-1850, Suède

Patins à glace pour enfants, 1800-1850, Suède

Focusing on the Swedish tradition of wooden playthings derived from abundant forests of fir, pine, spruce, and birch and the rural pursuits of woodworking and carpentry, curators BGC Founder and Director Susan Weber and Professor Amy F. Ogata investigate their histories of manufacture, consumption, and representation from the seventeenth century to the present. Although Germany, Japan, and the United States have historically produced and exported the largest numbers of toys worldwide, Sweden has a long and enduring history of designing and making wooden toys—from the simplest handmade plaything to more elaborate forms reflecting the computer age. For the presentation in Paris, Swedish Wooden Toys features more than 250 toys and related objects drawn primarily from the collections of the Sovrintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale, Italy, the BRIO Lekoseum in Osby, Sweden, and Les Arts Décoratifs.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Catalogue published by Yale UP:

Amy F. Ogata and Susan Weber, eds., Swedish Wooden Toys (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014), 432 pages, ISBN: 978-0300200751, $65.

9780300200751The Swedish toy industry has long produced vast quantities of colorful, quality wooden items that reflect Scandinavian design and craft traditions. This superbly illustrated book, including specially commissioned photography, looks at over 200 years of Swedish toys, from historic dollhouses to the latest designs for children. Featuring rattles, full-size rocking horses, dollhouses, and building blocks to skis, sleds, and tabletop games with intricate moving parts, Swedish Wooden Toys also addresses images of Swedish childhood, the role of the beloved red Dala horse in the creation of national identity, the vibrant tradition of educational toys, and the challenges of maintaining craft manufacturing in an era of global mass-production.

Amy F. Ogata is professor of 19th- and 20th-century architectural and design history, Bard Graduate Center, New York. Susan Weber is founder and director of the Bard Graduate Center, New York, and Iris Horowitz Professor in the
History of the Decorative Arts.

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. yonanm said, on June 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Having just returned from an extended sojourn to this wonderful country, I can attest that the kid culture there is amazing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: