Friday, November 24, 2017

McCord 2017: Toy's Exhibition

McCord Museum's 8th annual Toys exhibition

November 19, 2017 -  March 18, 2018


The McCord Museum presents its annual Toys exhibition, this year based on an original concept: The Topsy-Turvy Storyland. It is largely geared to children aged 3 to 9 and their companions. All are invited to explore the world of timeless fairy tales that have charmed generations of kids: Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Little Mermaid and Cinderella. In an imaginative fairytale-like setting, the children and other visitors will see numerous toys and objects from the Museum's Decorative Arts collection. Ideal for the holidays and winter school break, the exhibition transports visitors to Storyland, a world turned upside down by an evil spell cast by the Fairy Carabosse.

This year's exhibition occupies more space than it has in the past, offering visitors a look at nearly 150 artefacts from the Museum's collection of toys and decorative arts. These objects, several of which are being displayed for the very first time, have been restored by the McCord Museum  conservators and arranged in a magical decor with a touch of nostalgia. Parents and children alike will enjoy this fun and exciting treasure hunt through the world of fairy tales.

Among the objects from the Museum's collection on display are antique storybooks, an automaton doll created by Léopold Lambert (19th century), and a life-size carousel horse (early 20th century). Texts aimed at adults provide background information on the fairy tales and details about the artefacts on display.

This is a participatory exhibition with its own story line that opens a door into the world of fairy tale characters:

The realm of good King Dagobert has been buzzing with excitement for days, getting ready for the grand ball to celebrate the king's birthday. Everyone is invited—everyone, except the Fairy Carabosse. Furious at having been left off the guest list, she casts a terrible spell on the kingdom so no one can join the party. Immediately, characters and objects from different  stories are all mixed up. Little Red Riding Hood's basket and cape have vanished, Hansel has lost his pebbles and found himself in a different story, and Jack is struggling to find his magic harp and hen that lays the golden eggs. But that's not all! The Little Mermaid cannot locate her friend the fish or her shells, Prince Charming has been thrown into another story, and Cinderella has misplaced her glass slipper. 

To break Carabosse's spell and enable King Dagobert's ball to go ahead as planned, children must spot the ten characters and objects that have been put into other stories. When visitors enter the exhibition, they are asked to use their powers of observation as they walk through the forest and peek into the windows of Grandmother's house (Little Red Riding Hood), enter the house of the wicked witch (Hansel and Gretel), wander above the clouds (Jack and the Beanstalk), explore under the sea (The Little Mermaid) and stroll through the magnificent palace ballroom (Cinderella). Once the spell has been broken, the visit ends in the "magic library," an immersive reading room that invites one and all to peruse fascinating fairy tales from here and around the world.

At the very end of the exhibition, the children enter a cosy library where they can sit down and read fairy tales.

Speicial activities for children
The exhibition also includes a dress-up area and space for playing games like bowling, memory, blocks and bird watching, to name a few.

Entrance to the museum is always free for children ages 12 and under, an initiative that enjoys the financial support of Tourisme Montréal.

Extensive programming for the holidays
The Museum offers numerous activities designed for the entire family, including Sunday workshops, story hour, The Adventure at the Museum and special events for the holidays and winter school break.  Consult the Museum's Website and the Events Calendar.

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For more information, visit the McCord Museum website.

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