The exhibition focuses on the collection of vintage toys recently acquired by the Capitoline Superintendence; the exhibition path aims to underline the relationship between toys and everyday objects, between play and real life.
The large exhibition spaces of Palazzo Braschi are the ideal to show the collection evolution over the century, following a chronological path with thematic “focuses” that evoke, with some nostalgia, moments of everyday life, arts and crafts, cheerful colours and elaborate mechanisms. The objects on display, accompanied by explanatory panels, are mainly related to the years between 1860 and 1930, the so-called “golden age” of toys, and include, among others, castles with toy soldiers, farms with animals, prints and paintings, magic lanterns, velocipedes, scooters and sleds, planes and gliders, marbles, spinning tops, kites and hot air balloons, doll houses, rocking horses, theaters, puzzles and books, automata and trains and many others. On display, there are also a doll house of the Queen of Sweden, dating back to the late 1600s, and two pre-Inca dolls from the 14th-15th centuries, one of which depicts a mother with her son in her arms.
There are five insights: “the city and the countryside” ; “road and sky” ; “the family”; “the work”; “the travel”. In the 22 exhibition rooms on the first floor, joyful machines – a sort of “Wunderkammer” for children and adults who welcome real but also virtual toys – are displayed together with labyrinthine paths that allow a “close-up” and dynamic view of the toys.
“The family” section includes 79 dolls, arranged in an ideal garden, and 15 doll houses, with a site-specific installation for “the royal doll house” that belonged to the Queen of Sweden. On display, a four-storey high house – made in 1914 by John Carlsen for his brother – who still has a working lift made with parts of clock mechanisms.
About 70 buildings, castles and bridges, shops, a lighthouse, houses and then stables, farms and animals illustrate urban and rural life, followed by airplanes and ships, a glider and a large kite, spinning tops, ropes, slingshots, balls, shooting, roller skates. “The work” section includes about 60 pieces, with spinning mills, looms, electric motors, kitchens, construction games and mechanics, and 60 cars, including miniature German cars from the 1930s, and an installation with small automata, street games and miniature horse-drawn carriages.There are also steam engines, small boilers and trains, magic lanterns, vision games and objects related to the circus, such as clown jugglers, and traveling circus with automatons. The children’s library is colorful and fascinating with 84 books from the collection selected from pop-up books, "talking" books and fairy tales.
In the last room, a video of about seven minutes presents a story inspired by the objects of the collection, set in a miniature world, in which toys captured in even the smallest details come to life, against the background of the city immersed in its daily activities. The video was made by the Francesco Arcuri, the video maker curator of all the visual paths of the exhibition, with two animation techniques: stop motion and 2D digital animation.
From Monday to Friday 10.00-19.00
The ticket office closes one hour earlier
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