By Catriona Ellis
The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh claims to be the first in the world to focus on the history of childhood, but the museum is not the only place in which some of these toys have been displayed. Many of the dolls were the result of enthusiasm for collecting of one man – Mr Edward Lovett (1852-1933). But collections are not only for the joy of collecting, but also the joy of sharing with a wider audience.
This summer the museum plays host to a cast of curious clockwork characters from the House of Automata, alongside a new series of etchings by Robert Powell.
We invite you to join us for a descriptive tour of the exhibition and a hands-on automata performance, tailored to visually impaired visitors.
Come along to experience the magic of mechanical life. In Robert Powell’s prints we will explore the uncanny overlaps between nature and technology, and the role of automata in legend and literature. Then, the automata will come to life in the expert hands of Michael and Maria Start, including a tiny feathered bird who sings 170-year-old songs.
11.00am – 12.30pm
Friday 28th July 2017
Places are limited. Book by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Museum of Childhood, 42 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TG
Directions to Museum http://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/Venues/Museum-of-Childhood/Visitor-Information/Find-Us
Michael and Maria Start are collectors, restorers and promoters of mechanical life. The intriguing automata in the exhibition have been brought to Edinburgh from their secret workshop in the Highlands.
Robert Powell is an Edinburgh artist who creates hand-painted prints, filled with black humour and glorious detail. This new series, ‘Pneuma: The Mechanical Egg’, has been created especially for the exhibition.
A lift provides step-free access to the exhibition, and there are accessible toilets in Gallery 3. Unfortunately we do not have parking on site.
By Catriona Ellis
I’m really interested in the ways in which toys travel, and what that tells us about the movement of people and ideas. I’d like to share a couple which I’ve been looking at recently.
A story of discovery in the collection, by Susan Gardner, curator at the Museum of Childhood.
Christine and Robin Stark. I’ve read their names many times in the museum’s inventory and often wondered who they were.
Yesterday, for International Women’s Day, staff and volunteers at the Museum of Childhood did a wikipedia edit-a-thon to get more women onto the web.
Women are shockingly under-represented on wikipedia, and this, combined with the general low status of toy-making as a craft or art form, results in a sad lack of presence for this group of creative, talented and overlooked craftswomen.
Write at the Museum was a series of four monthly workshops at the Museum of Childhood.
Six writers joined us for afternoons of creativity in the tranquil (some might say eerie!) space of the closed museum. They were free to roam the galleries and work in any space which suited them, and much of the work produced was indeed inspired by the material culture of childhood.
Dolls have a special place at the Museum of Childhood.
Perhaps our most famous room is the doll gallery, containing hundreds of little figures, gathered in groups by material (wood, bisque, cloth…) or theme (military, fashion, character…)
Art + Feminism invite you to join in with a Wikipedia edit-a-thon hosted by the Museum of Childhood, on International Women’s Day.
In order to collect feedback on our Bedtime Stories exhibition we invited visitors to share their memories about childhood bedtimes on postcards. Visitors of various ages and from all walks of life responded in a myriad of ways; the postcards have been decorated with drawings, descriptions, or simply book titles. And they keep coming!
We are looking for the best photos of Edinburgh families to include in an upcoming exhibition.