Children's Gallery Exhibition

Dates + times

17 August 2013 – 6 April 2014
Open 10.00 am – 5.00 pm every day



Related Events

Toy Shop Family Funtime
11am - 3pm Thur 3 – Sat 5 Oct

Marvel at the Toyshop exhibition and enter the small theatre to enjoy a bonanza of games and engaging activities. Make a board game, try your luck at jiggle joggle frogs and be amazed by the dazzling magic tricks. Something to please the whole family. Come as a family, a group or an individual
FREE l Drop in anytime I no booking necessary l Small Theatre


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Image detail above:
PUFF TOYS (manufacturer)
Toy train 1975
Crafts Board Collection donated by the Australia Council 1982


Toyshop is an exhibition for the very young gallery visitor. But, equally, it has something for all of us. Toys hold a special place for children as objects of fun and imagination. For an adult, they present a nostalgic link to the past, which is often employed by artists to stir up childhood memories or to capture the innocence or fun we once had as children.

This exhibition includes toys in a wide variety of artistic styles and mediums and from various cultures. Artists have captured our association with these objects of play in prints, photographs and paintings, but some of the toys reflect a nostalgic element that extends well beyond the thematic physical aspect of toys. Iconic works such as the Ginger Meggs doll from around 1960 and the earlier Koala from around 1950 shift the significance from the established realm of art aesthetic to a merger of craftsmanship with a social identity, adding a unique quality to these toys. However, among the familiar toys are those that will surprise such as Jiggle‑Joggle, a frog race game that appears to be, as it states on it box, ‘splendid fun for both big and little people’.

Many of the items in Toyshop are from a unique assortment of toys that comprise a small part of the Gallery’s Julian Robinson Collection, an eclectic and extensive collection of almost 4000 works driven by one man’s passion for all things associated with fashion and its craft. A number of the works from this collection provide rare insight into the toys of bygone eras, including a magic set and puzzles manufactured over a century ago and one of the earliest sets of playing blocks from Germany.

The exhibition also includes entreating sculpture, painting, photography and prints—from Ruth Hollick’s photograph of ‘Miss Beggs’ with her teddy from around 1928 to Charlotte Ardizzone’s oil painting Wrapping up Christmas presents 1969 and Lucy Culliton’s sculptural work Hand knit toy 2007. The items in Toyshop are sure to capture your imagination, whatever your age.

Debbie Ward Head of Conservation and curator of the exhibition

PUFF TOYS (manufacturer)
Toy train 1975
Crafts Board Collection donated by the Australia Council 1982

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