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Swedish Wooden Toys


August 27, 2015 by Polarn O. Pyret



On view September 18, 2015 – January 17, 2016
Bard Graduate Center Gallery

18 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024

The exhibit, Swedish Wooden Toys explores Sweden’s long and enduring tradition of designing and making wooden toys. It examines the cultural embrace of the wooden toy as a sign of timelessness and quality. Bard Graduate Center Gallery has loads of fun family programming planned around the Swedish Wooden Toy exhibit. Email us at and be entered to win 1 of 3 exhibition catalogs; or 1 of 2 free passes for the Kids’ Workshop on November 21st.
Be sure to put Swedish Wooden Toys in the subject line! Good Luck!

Family Festival: Swedish Wooden Toys
Saturday, October 24, 2015
(includes gallery admission, materials and healthy refreshments)
Marionettes from Swedish-based puppet troupe Marionetteattern, march us through a day of activities that include a performance and workshop. The Brooklyn-based organization, ConstructionKids, lead a toy-making workshop. Drop by the galleries to hear live music and use our unique kid-friendly activity cards to experience the exhibition, Swedish Wooden Toys. Bring a toy for donation!

Special thanks to the Consulate General of Sweden in New York and Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D. C., for their help and support for this event.

Kids’ Workshop: Swedish Wooden Toys
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 1—3:30pm

Registration required, cost: $20 per family, refreshments included
Hammer, screw, and piece together the afternoon in this special program designed especially for kids! ConstructionKids lead a toy-making workshop guaranteed to help kids relate to toys in a whole new way. Suggested age: 6 to 12 years. ConstructionKids introduces new builders to a broad range of materials and tools and help them to work individually as well as part of a team.

Sunday, October 18, 2015, 3pm (reception to follow)
Scandinavian Music of Childhood: An Encounter

Pianist, toy pianist, composer and founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Phyllis Chen and multimedia artist, Robert Dietz, lead an afternoon of musical discovery of childhood through her toy pianos and music boxes. They play with the quirky yet sensitive range of possibilities that these instruments bring. The Memorist, a piece featured in the program, and composed by Chen, is inspired by Lewis Carroll, Humpty Dumpty and Chen’s own childhood.

Sunday, November 8, 2015, 3pm (reception to follow)
Were I a Little Child: Songs from a Nordic Childhood

Swedish soprano, Helena Liljeblad, bass-baritone, Robert Osborne and pianist, Richard Gordon present a concert of Nordic music highlighting toys and play, childhood, nursery rhymes, and nostalgia in the form of art songs, children’s stories, folksongs, and dance. Beloved songs by the Swedish-language composers will complement the familiar songs of Aaron Copland, Frank Loesser and Victor Herbert.

Swedish Wooden Toys is generously supported by Proventus AB and Gregory Soros with additional funding from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. Special thanks to the Consulate General of Sweden in New York and The American-Scandinavian Foundation.


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