Monday, June 13, 2005

My Childhood In A Museum

This weekend's Saturday activity was a trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art for their current special exhibition: kid size: The Material World of Childhood. The exhibit, which began in April and runs through September 11, showcases the design of toys and furniture created specifically for children through time and around the world. The exhibit combines static displays with interactive ones -- giving children the chance to get on hands and knees and drive carts, practice carrying babies, write on chalk boards and create their own chairs and cradles. The globalization of culture was interesting to see -- as Eastern-style baby carriers that hold children close to the body, "worn" by the caregiver, come west and Western furniture, like cradles move east and south. One cradle, from 17th century New England, is one of about a dozen that is thought to exist, and reflects simple wordwook and sturdy craftsmanship. More current designs made of colorful plastics and other synthetic materials -- like this Tarantino Chair, appear to be designed to have more appeal to children and to be safer and more functional as well. One thing was clear, that throughout time a potty training seat as been a small chair with a hole cut in it.

I felt my age when when we found the Big Wheel, the very thing that made me King of the Sidewalk when I was young, to be the very 1st item in the exhibition. With it's deceptively simple design that inverted a traditional metal tricycle and constructed of plastic, it became a hit in the early 70's when it was declared to be safer than traditional trikes. Like the famous episode of Seinfeld, this exhibit had us wishing we could put the guards to sleep and find a way to play with all of the toys.


At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sincerly, I love you big brother but you do have to much time on your hands.However I love knowing whats up! Love to everyone.


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