The revival of traditional art in everyday objects

Theme

The theme of the exhibition meant selecting objects of contemporary manufacture from the museum’s collections.

Objects also had to be everyday items and examples of traditional art.
We thought about using earthenware dishes or shop signs but we finally chose wooden toys because the museum happened to have a varied collection of them.
Toys met all of the suggested criteria.

Toys are everyday objects. While they may not be utilitarian, like kitchen utensils, they are nonetheless necessary for children’s psychological development. Toys have been part of everyday life throughout history. Very often, they have owed their existence to children’s imagination or are simple makeshift articles crafted by parents from objects at hand.

Toys provide us with examples of popular art and they are always representative of their period. Their beauty resides not only in their shapes and colours but often also in their simplicity. Besides their aesthetic appeal, they are evidence of human ingenuity.
The notion of a revival implies that objects should still be in production which is why we have chosen to present only wooden toys that can be found today in the windows of small toy shops.

To begin with, wooden toys are attractive because of the material from which they are made. After years of plastic, wood is returning to favour as a more natural, elegant and aesthetic material for toys. Often wooden toys are simply varnished to highlight the grain and allow the wood to show through. Wood also seems to be more in keeping with today’s trend towards healthier products. Wood seems more ecological and valuable than plastic because of its organic nature as well as for its natural value and meaning.
Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne
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