Swedish wooden toys at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris

Swedish wooden toys at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris

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A few days before Christmas, offers an outing that will delight the little ones and give gift ideas to the older ones. Initiated by the Bard Graduate Center in New York, the exhibition, presented at the Decorative Arts in Paris, explores Swedish play culture through more than 250 wooden toys and unpublished documents. A way to take a walk in the coffers of our ancestors and discover a real know-how that has long made the reputation of a country, logically better known for its dollhouses or wooden horses than for his IKEA furniture… The legacy of a universe marked by centuries, the Swedish gaming industry has always remained flourishing. And the exhibition retraces this long tradition which rocked young blond heads as much as the country's economy. On the program: objects from renowned collections such as those of the Sovrintendenza Capitolina in Rome and the Brio museum in Osby, but also the prettiest pieces from the Museum of Decorative Arts. To this is added an abundant iconography made of drawings, posters and catalogs which allows to recontextualize the different creations. Everything is organized around themes such as animals, transport and heroes of popular culture. Because children's literature is often a source of inspiration for toy manufacturers ...

Between tradition and innovation

If Germany, Japan and the United States have historically produced and exported most of the toys, Sweden remains essential in its field because it has above all been able to evolve with the times while keeping its identity. Beyond the iconic doll's house or the traditional wooden horse from Dalarna - a region in central Sweden, the brands have developed pieces rooted in our daily life, like the Brio Network series which explains how it works Internet for children. The project then endeavors to show the transformation of the Swedish wooden toy from the 17th century to today, from typical pieces to more recent models thus evoking new technologies.

Towards real learning

But Swedish toys also have a different story, a whole different dimension. From the nineteenth century, the manufacture of small wooden objects was no longer just a matter of Scandinavian tradition, but also an active policy in favor of child development. With the practice of Sloyd (from Swedish "slöjd" which means "craft"), Sweden, example of inventiveness, creates an exceptional education system, based on manual work, and which continues today. Or when the fun becomes both practical and educational.
We also note that the scenography of the exhibition is signed Matali Crasset. This French designer, author of many projects related to the world of childhood, here designs a unique world made of cardboard tube that invites even more to the imagination. Swedish wooden toys Until January 11, 2015 Paris Museum of Decorative Arts 107 rue de Rivoli, Paris 1er More info on: //