Grand Palais Museum Presents Toys and us Exhibition

The Grand Palais in Paris presents Toys and us an exhibition on view through January 23 2012.

This exhibition, outstanding and totally original in terms of scale and ambition, presents one thousand toys from Antiquity to the present day, and features antique and princely dolls, Barbies, trains, planes, boats, all manner of teddy bears, highly realistic automated figures, combat video games, lead or plastic figurines, flying saucers, a Noah’s ark and even a Father Xmas in an aeroplane.

Toys are partly an imitation of the adult world, while drawing strongly on the imagination, and Toys and us presents a history of toys in the Western world, highlighting their importance in the education of man from birth. The exhibition investigates the ambiguous relationships between children and miniature reproductions of the world of grown-ups. How do children adopt and adapt to a reality conceived on their scale, but always by adults?
How do archetypes like dolls, vehicles or toy soldiers change from one era to another? In what ways do they continue to mimic the adult world and does History produce breaks in tradition? Do children still dream of becoming firemen or schoolmistresses? Toys and games (which imply a set of rules) raise different questions that the exhibition sets out to answer, drawing on both science and sensibility.

The exhibition has been put together in collaboration with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, which has one of the biggest collections of toys in Europe. Other leading French and international cultural institutions including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, The Toy Museum in Nuremberg, The Strong in Rochester (U.S.A.), and many private European collections have contributed to the show.

Whether mass-produced or crafted by celebrated artists like Alexandre Calder, Felix Garcia Torres or Benjamin Rabier, whether they are outstanding objects or just strewn on the carpet in the children’s bedroom, they tell us about the world, its changes, and history, in a way that is often offbeat or strikingly realistic. A generous and diverse choice of paintings, posters, sculptures, films, video games, and video clips accompanies the exhibits.

Open daily (except Tuesday) from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., evening extension Wednesdays till 10:00 p.m. Early opening at 9:00 a.m. during school holidays (mid-Autumn term and Christmas). Closes at 6:00 p.m. on December 24 and 31. Closed on December 25.

The exhibition will be part of the Nuit Blanche on October 1 2011, with admission free from 7:30 p.m. to 0:15 a.m., closing at 1:00 a.m.

Admission: Full rate: 11 € – Reduced rate: 8 € (aged 13-25). Admission free for children under 13. –

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