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Henry M. Robert

Exchanging vintage Christmas tree toys for tickets to an exhibition

A museum in Dnipropetrovsk is developing a new exhibition from visitors’ gifts
18 December, 2013 - 18:11
Photo courtesy of the State Toy Museum

A collection point for old Christmas tree toys has been established in Dnipropetrovsk. To stimulate the activity, it will reward every vintage toy donation with a ticket to the local historical museum. Senior Research Fellow of Dnipropetrovsk Yavornytsky National Historical Museum Alla Moskalets told the press that the campaign would run until January 30. Meanwhile, the museum has opened an exhibition of vintage Christmas tree toys in one of its rooms. The exhibition features about 300 exhibits.

“We are running the ‘Donate a Toy to the Museum’ campaign. Our visitors bring old Christmas tree decorations, receiving a free ticket to the museum for the whole family as a reward. We have met an enthusiastic response, and we already have three showcases filled with the most beautiful and interesting toys. This year is not the first that we have an exhibition of this kind. In fact, it has become a tradition of our museum. We plan to have eight showcases displaying the toys brought by the local public,” Moskalets said. According to her, Dnipropetrovsk families have kept beautiful Christmas tree decorations for decades, passing them from generation to generation. The oldest toys belong to the late 19th century.

“It is especially fortunate when a toy has also some interesting history of its own; we are recording such histories, so that our visitors could read them. We have lots of toys that date back to the early 1950s or 1960s. Better still, we received three toys in 2012 which belong to the pre-war period and can be approximately dated to the late 1930s. These are huge acorn, oak leaf and clock. They are stunningly large, reaching about 20 cm in diameter. In addition, these decorations are very heavy and cast in block. We have also cotton wool toys which people made themselves, and funny Christmas tree decorations shaped as lamps, kettles, soccer balls, etc.,” Moskalets told us. In addition, the museum has acquired a cotton wool swan, produced in Germany in the 1930s or 1940s. It probably appeared in Dnipropetrovsk during World War II, or was brought to the city from occupied Germany.

The historical museum is also hosting an exhibition of children’s drawings on the eve of winter holidays. This exhibition is a result of the great contest held at Dnipropetrovsk’s Art School No. 2. It presents two dozen best New Year-themed works that are serving as a great addition to the vintage Christmas tree toys exhibition.

By Vadym RYZHKOV, The Day, Dnipropetrovsk
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